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Map Collection

Third Floor, Eli M. Oboler Library Idaho State University

The Map Collection, on the 3rd floor of the Oboler Library, has a collection of over 46,000 sheet maps. Sheets are regularly received from the U.S. Geological Survey along with an assortment from other distributors. Special Collections, located in the Library basement, also has some additional older sheet maps.

  1. General Information

  2. Location: 3rd floor - behind the main stairwell to the north.
    Hours: Regular library hours are maintained. Reference services are limited during evenings and on weekends.
    Locating Maps
    Use this bibliography located on top of the white labeled map cases: "Helps for Using the ISU Library's Cataloged Sheet Map Collection - (White Labels) rev. 3-20-01"

    Cataloged maps
    --WHITE Labeled Map Cases are arranged under their G Library of Congress classifications and can be searched in the Library Catalog. You can set a location limit for Maps and then do a keyword or title search to locate only maps. You can also set the format limit to Map and then do a keyword search to locate them. If neither of these limit options is set, maps will be retrieved in a regular search along with other resources.

    Uncataloged maps
    --WHITE Labeled Map Cases still contain a few uncataloged maps arranged under their G Library of Congress classification numbers.
    --YELLOW Labeled Map Cases contain topographic maps arranged alphabetically by state, then by quadrangle name. Use one of the printed topographic map indexes to locate a quadrangle name.
    --ORANGE Labeled Map Cases contain the military maps that have not yet been cataloged. They are arranged by a military system consisting of series number (one with only numbers and one with alpha letters + numbers) along with a sheet number. There are binders on top of the map cases that contain the indexes to these maps.

    Circulation: Maps that circulate can be checked out at the Circulation Desk, 1st floor. The due dates will vary depending on the type of map and patron category. (Maps should not be folded, taped or mutilated. If lost, mutilated, or returned late, fines and replacement fees will be incurred.)

  3. Brief Locations for Map

  4. See Section III for Further Explanations

    Aerial Photos
    Some twenty-five year old editions are available for a few Southeast Idaho local areas and they are kept in Special Collections, which is located in the basement of the Library.

    Army Map Service
    See Military Maps

    Most maps in book format are in one of the following locations: (1) a couple are in the Atlas Case near the sheet maps on the 3rd floor, (2) most are in the Reference Collection, 1st Floor (Reference Stacks or Atlas Case), and there may be some in (3) Special Collections (Library basement).

    Base Maps
    They are located with the sheet maps in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    Flood Prone Maps
    The Idaho maps are located in Special Collections (Library basement.) Some additional states are on microfilm.

    Folded Maps in Envelopes
    Many USGS folded maps are located in the U.S. Documents Collection, primarily under I 19.

    G Number Maps (Library of Congress Classification)
    This call number system is used to arrange the sheet maps by area and subject in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    One is housed on top of the sheet map cases.

    Idaho Documents, 3rd floor
    This collections contains maps issued by the Idaho Geological Survey.

    Microfiche Maps
    A circular holder sits on top of the topographic map cases and contains some microfiche maps.

    Microfilmed Maps (reels)
    They are located in a separate case in the map area, with YELLOW drawer fronts.

    Military Maps
    Most of these maps are in the map cases with the ORANGE labels arranged by series and sheet numbers. A few are in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    Othrophoto Maps
    The Idaho maps are located in Special Collections (Library basement).

    Outline Maps
    These are filed with the sheet maps in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    Rare Maps
    Located in Special Collections (Library basement).

    Raised Relief Maps
    Located in two PINK labeled drawers at the end of the ORANGE labeled map cases.

    Road Maps
    The smaller ones are located in the gray filing cabinet in the drawer marked "Road Maps."

    Sheet Maps
    These are located in all of the map cases: WHITE labels contain cataloged sheet maps, YELLOW labels the topographic maps, and ORANGE labels military maps.

    Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: Idaho
    Microfilm copies are located in Special Collection (Library basement).
    Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are also available in digital format. Access is limited to ISU affiliates (login is required from off-campus locations).

    Subject Maps
    Located in the WHITE labeled map cases. Additional subject maps can be found in the Atlas Collection, 1st Floor Reference Collection.

    Thematic Maps
    Located in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    Topographic Maps
    Most of the U.S. ones are in the map cases with the YELLOW labels. Some foreign ones are in the ORANGE labeled drawers.

    US Document Collection, 3rd floor
    It contains smaller maps from many different agencies.

  5. Explanation of the Types of Maps Available

  6. Aerial Photos: The collection consists of 711 photos covering a few Southeast Idaho areas that are at least 25 years old (1978 or earlier) with poor indexing. They are kept in Special Collections (Library basement).

    Atlases: They are bound collections of individual maps with text. General world atlases contain predominantly geographic or locational maps on a small scale, while national atlases are restricted to a single country or area. National atlases also contain maps on many different subjects. Some atlases cover only one subject such as economics, agriculture, or climate. Most of the library's atlases can be located through the Library Catalog.

    Base Maps: A base map is any map containing only basic geographic information such as boundaries, towns, rivers, transportation routes, etc. which can be used for location or in correlation with other data.

    Flood Prone Maps: These are black and white 7.5 minute maps of Idaho showing the areas of rivers, creeks, etc. that are prone to flooding and the distance which the floods may spread. (See also list under "Topographic Maps, Microfilm Copies.")

    Folded Maps in Envelopes: Some maps come folded in envelopes. Many USGS folded maps are located in the U.S. Documents Collection.

    G Number Maps (Library of Congress Classification): This is a geographic and subject system used for the sheet maps filed in the WHITE labels or the folded map section. It consists of a combination of codes representing major geographic area, sub-area, and subject. The numbers are written on the lower right hand corner of the sheet maps. Note the following samples:


    Globe: A 16-inch globe, Rand McNally's Advanced Physical/Political Globe, is available. It is located on top of the sheet map cases.

    Idaho Documents, 3rd floor: Some of the Idaho documents contain maps, especially those issued by the Idaho Geological Survey. To locate them, search in the Library Catalog either by the author Idaho Geological Survey or do a keyword search containing the word map.

    Microfiche Maps: ISU Map Collection has around 150 microfiche, which contain reduced images maps. A title list can be found under "Topographic Maps, Microfiche Copies."

    Microfilmed Maps (reels): ISU has 380 reels from the National Archives. A title list can be found under "Topographic Maps, Microfilm Copies."

    Military Maps: They cover mainly foreign areas with both large and small scale coverage and are arranged by their own series number system.

    Find the uncataloged ones by using either the Army Map Depository Catalog Index or the typed list titled Military Maps in the ISU Library Map Collection. Both are located on top of the map cases containing these maps.
    (In the Catalog Index, find the series number and look in their catalog under the series number. This will show the mapped quadrangles by grid and area for all the maps in that series. The Map Collection has all maps sheets with a red line marked diagonally in the quadrangle).
    Others are cataloged; see Section I.

    Othrophoto Maps: These maps are usually black and white, although sometimes color and show land features with enhanced photographic images of the area. The imagery depicts a more true-to-life view of an area. These maps are included in with the topographic maps in the WHITE labeled map cases.

    Outline Maps: These maps have just sufficient geographic information to permit the correlation of additional data placed on them. An outline map contains less material than a base map. Most of these maps are mixed in with the sheet maps and there is no way to identify them except by their call number. Usually the 2nd row of numbers will have an A1, e.g. G3701 A1 1954 U5.

    Rare Maps: These maps are kept in Special Collection (Library basement). All of the older editions of the Idaho topographic maps are kept there too.

    Raised Relief Maps: These are plastic relief maps with realistic visual physical features. Several samples of selected Idaho areas are available plus a few other areas.

    Road Maps: These are available for some cities, states, and countries. Many of the smaller ones are kept in the gray filing cabinet. They are filed in two orders: (1) Road Maps - U.S., alphabetical by state then by city or (2) Road Maps - Foreign, alphabetical by country. An index is available in a folder on top of the filing cabinet.

    Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Idaho: Collection of large-scale city plans with detail to the block and building level. The Oboler Library provides access to the following compilations:

    Digital 1867-1970 Digital Sanborn Maps
    Available to ISU students, faculty and staff only; login required from off-campus locations.

    Late 19th Century to 1920. 2 reels
    Special Collections, Intermountain West
    G4271.G475 1976 .U54

    1884-1950. 5 reels
    Special Collections, Intermountain West
    G4271.G475 1950 .S36

    1950-1970. 1 reel
    Special Collections, Intermountain West
    G4271.G475 1970 .S36

    Sheet Maps: Most of the Map Collection consists of big maps on sheets of paper. They are located in three sections. WHITE labels for cataloged sheet maps; YELLOW labels for topographic maps; and ORANGE labels for Military maps.

    Subject Maps: They are included with the maps in the WHITE labeled cases. Subject maps are also in atlases.

    Thematic Maps: This is the proper name for maps on different subjects.

    Topographic Maps: A topographic map is a graphic representation of selected man-made and natural features of a part of the earth's surface. The distinguishing characteristic of these maps is the portrayal of the shape and elevation of the terrain.

    The Map Collection's major series of topographic maps covers primarily the Western United States along with three series, which cover the whole United States. The states are in an alphabetical arrangement, except that Idaho is in a separate map cabinet. Series covering the whole U.S. are located in some drawers in the area.

    State topographic maps can be located through using an index map which is kept in the first 7.5 minute drawer for each state in the YELLOW labeled map cases. (Additional copies are located on top of the WHITE labeled cabinets.) The Idaho Index is on a table near the Idaho map storage cabinet.

    US Document Collection, 3rd floor: It contains smaller maps from many different agencies. Those issued since July 1976 can found by searching in the Library Catalog.

    The US Documents Collection includes several large groups of sheet maps that may be of interest:

    U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Small maps of foreign areas
    See PREX 3.10/4: US Documents, 3rd floor

    US Government folded maps
    Circum-Pacific Map Series (CP-#)     I 19.91/2:
    Coal Investigations (C-#)     I 19.85:
    Geologic Investigations Series (I-#)
    (Earlier Miscellaneous Investigations Series)
        I 19.91:
    Geologic Quadrangle Maps [ended 9/99] (GQ-#)     I 19.88:
    Geophysical Investigations [ended 9/99] (GP-#)     I 19.87:
    Hydrologic Investigation Atlases (HA-#)     I 19.89:
    Land Use & Land Cover & Associated Maps (L-#)     I 19.112:
    Mineral Investigations Resources Maps (MR-#)     I 19.90:
    Miscellaneous Field Studies Maps (MF-#)     I 19.113:
    Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Maps (I-#)     I 19.91:
    Miscellaneous Investigations Series (I-#)
    (Later Geologic Investigations Series)
        I 19.91:
    Oil & Gas Investigation Charts [ended 9/99] (OC-#)     I 19.92:
    Oil & Gas Investigations Maps (OM-#)     I 19.93:

    U.S. Topographic Map Series:

    1:250,000 scale
    Arranged by state, then quadrangle name. Located in 1 drawer at the end of the Military maps.
    1:100,000 scale (Planimetric) [plain with no contour lines]
    Arranged by state, then quadrangle name. Located in 4 drawers at the end of the Military maps.
    1:100,000 scale (Topographic) [have 20 meter contour intervals]
    Arranged by state, then quadrangle name. Located in 10 drawers in a large gray case on the west end of the green topographic map cases.
    1:25,000 scale (Topographic)
    Arranged by state, then quadrangle name. Located in 1 drawer at the end of the Military maps.

    State Topographic Series:

    All are shelved alphabetically by state name, then alphabetically by quadrangle name. The 15-minute maps are first, followed by the 7.5 minute. An index sheet is kept in the first 7.5-minute drawer of each state.
    Only have latest editions: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
    Earlier editions for Idaho are in Special Collections, Library basement
    Have old editions for SD but this state is no longer received

    National Parks and Monuments Series:

    Shelved in the WHITE labeled maps cases. See typed list on the top of the cabinet. (See also entry under "Topographic Maps, Microfilm Copies.")

    (Located in holder on top of the topographic maps cases.)

    Topographic 1:250,000 scale series
    In alphabetical order by quad name.
    Topographic 1:24,000 scale series (7.5 minute)
    Have: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, St. Crois Island
    Index to Names: The National Atlas of the United States. 1970.
    Index of Maps by Name, State, Latitude, Longitude


    Current Maps Update. 11 reels (Rolls 316-326)
    DMA 1:50,000 Metric, 1-79 to 12-81. 1 reel (Roll 370)
    Highway County Maps Plan. 6 reels (Rolls 270-275)
    Federal Highways. 6 reels (Rolls 276-280, 287)
    Flood Prone. 25 reels (Rolls 344-368)
    MD Geological Survey. 1 reel (Roll 343)
    National Parks. 2 reels (Rolls 281-282)
    National Wetlands Inventory. 3 reels (Roll 369, 379-380)
    River Maps. 6 reels (Rolls 288-289, 312-315)
    Specials. 12 reels (Rolls 329-340)
    State Base. 2 reels (Rolls 341-342)
    Urban Areas. 13 reels (Rolls 290-302)
    USGS 15 Minute maps 9 reels (Rolls 261-269)
    [USGS] 1:250,000 2 reels (Rolls 327-328)
    USGS Topo Map Complete (1884-1972) 260 reels (Rolls 1-260)
         Complete coverage of the United States with all editions issued from 1884 through 1972. Arranged by state & quadrangle.
         A special index to the microfilm rolls is available on top of the cabinet. You must know the quadrangle name to locate a map.
         Use the bound copy of the index to topographic maps.
         See (Doc Ref I 19.41/6-3:pt. 1-4). Ask at the Reference Desk (1st floor) if you need assistance.

    [USGS] Topo Maps (Oct 1979-Dec 1980). 9 reels (Rolls 303-311)

    [USGS] Topo Maps (Jan-Dec 1981). 8 reels (Rolls 371-378)


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209