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Maps Research Guide

A compilation of print and online resources on how to locate and use maps.

Historic Maps in the Mansfield Library

The Regional and Historic Maps collection held in Archives and Special Collections contains a variety of rare and unique maps related to western expeditions and explorations, railroad surveys, boundary surveys, territories, roads and trails, Montana cities and counties, Native American reservations, national forests and more. Copies of many of these maps are also available in the Mansfield Library's general map collection on Level 1 and may be checked out.

For more information on historic maps related to Montana, GIS data, aerial imagery, or other map types, please navigate to those specific pages of this guide.

Map Resources Documenting Indigenous Peoples

Decline of Indian Homelands Interactive Map

This interactive map, created by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt and Slate's Rebecca Onion, shows the decline of Indian homelands from 1776 to 1887. is looking to correct that, at least in the case of Europeans' violent seizing of Native Americans' land. The map was developed to to supplement Saunt's book, West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776, and shows how rapidly European-Americans over 1.5 billion acres from indigenous peoples residing in the present-day United States. source: Vox


USGS Geologic Atlas of the United States

The Geologic Atlas of the United States is a set of 227 folios published by the U.S. Geological Survey between 1894 and 1945.  Each folio includes both topographic and geologic maps for each quad represented in that folio, as well as description of the basic and economic geology of the area.

Texas A&M has digitized the entire set these folios and they are available to view on their Digital Collections page. The Mansfield Library has physical copies of the folios 1 through 211 in the Montana Room.

Online Railroad and Transportation Map Resources

Image of Northern Pacific Railway map

More Online Historic Map Resources

These links provide access to additional historic map resources and thousands of digitized maps at other institutions.

Image of map from David Rumsey collection

source: Via Eastern map from David Rumsey Historical Map Collection