The Mansfield Library and Archives and Special Collections hold wide variety of Montana maps ranging from historical to current. Examples include: topographic maps, orthophoto quads, geologic and hydrologic maps, National Forest and Wilderness maps, Forest Health Protection (PEST) maps, BLM Surface (land ownership) and Mineral Management maps, and Sanborn Company fire insurance maps.
The Indexed, annotated cartobibliography of the University of Montana Mansfield Library historical map collection (1983), which is available in the Montana Room, is a useful, albeit dated, subject guide for historic map searches. Patrons requesting maps by subject term—e.g. Lewis and Clark, fur trade, or Indian reservations—may find the cartobibliography a helpful tool. Call number: 912.78 X M287i
For more Montana map resources (Sanborn, GIS, aerial photo, scientific, etc.), please navigate to those specific pages of this guide.
The BLM produces Surface Management Edition (SME) (also called land status or land ownership) maps for Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These maps are available in a surface edition (which shows surface ownership) and a surface/mineral edition (which shows both surface and federal mineral ownership). Not all maps are available in both editions. The scale is 1:100,000; each map covers approximately 1700 square miles and most maps are topographic.
BLM maps for Montana are available in the Montana Room on Level 4. Recent years of BLM maps for the rest of the U.S. are available on Level 1.
To locate a map:
Boundary maps of the Territory and State of Montana were produced by the General Land Office (GLO) beginning in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. The GLO was part of The Department of the Interior and then absorbed into the BLM in 1946. Survey plats are the graphic drawing of the boundaries created by each survey and contain the official acreage used in the legal description of the public lands. Plats are critical historic documents that can help researchers locate the land referenced in a land patent's legal land description (i.e. Meridian, Township, Range, and Section/Block).
Air Quality Maps
Maps of Other Natural Resources
Forest Health Protection Annual Aerial Detection Survey maps, also referred to as "PEST maps," are detection and damage survey maps of insects and disease in Montana. These maps are produced by the US Forest Service, Northern Region.
Archives and Special Collections holds a full set of PEST maps produced from 1999-2007 in the Montana Room. Call number: G4241 .K5 [year].U5.
Digital PEST maps from 2008, 2011-2017 are available to view and download by clicking on this link.
National Forest, Parks, and Wilderness Area maps for Montana fall into the categories of historical and current. These maps show trails, recreation areas, logging roads, streams, lakes and rivers. The most current editions of these maps contain travel plan information, restrictions, and points of interest.
National Forest maps for other areas of the U.S. are available on Level 1.
According to the USGS, geologic maps use a combination of lines, symbols, and colors to show the composition and structure of earth materials and their distribution across and beneath the Earth's surface. They generally show bedrock formations like granite or limestone, sediment deposited by glaciers or rivers, and structures like folds and faults. Geologic maps can be used to identify geologic hazards, locate natural resources, and facilitate land-use planning. Access this USGS publication for information on color and symbol coding.
Use the library's online catalog, OneSearch, to located geologic and hydrologic maps, as well as the USGS paper indices. consult the following resources to identify map call numbers:
USGS paper indices are located on Level 1 of the Mansfield Library in the Map Reference Area.