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Maps Research Guide: How to Locate Maps

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

Map Finding Tools Overview

This page contains information on how to use library search tools, such as OneSearch and WorldCat, to locate physical and digital copies of maps available in the Mansfield Library and other libraries around the world. It also provides information on how to navigate government map resources such as TopoView and USGS.

View a map of the University of Montana campus to locate the Mansfield Library.

View a map of the Mansfield Library to locate the maps in the library's general collection on Level 1, or the maps in the Archives and Special Collections Montana Room on Level 4.

Tips for Using OneSearch

To locate maps available in the library, both Archives and Special Collections and the general collection, use the library's online catalog, OneSearch.

Tips for Finding Maps on OneSearch:

  • If you know the type of the map or the subject matter, put that in the Keyword search bar. Then limit the "Resource Type" to "maps."
  • Once you find a map(s) in the catalog that you'd like to view, write down the call number.
  • Make sure to note the location of the map.
    • If the catalog entry says the location is Level 4, the map is located in the Archives and Special Collections Montana Room and may be browsed, but not checked out.
    • If the catalog entry says the location is Level 1, the map is located in the library's general collection and may be checked out.

To learn more about using OneSearch, watch this short video.

Maps in the Mansfield Library's General Collection

The Mansfield Library has a collection of approximately 250,000 maps in its general collection on Level 1. The collection focuses on Montana and the history of the West, but it also contains a broad selection of maps from around the world. Examples of the types of maps that you can find in the library's general collection include:

  • Topographic maps of all 50 states
  • Road maps of foreign countries
  • Geologic & hydrologic maps of many parts of the U.S.
  • World War II-era Army Map Service maps of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance maps
  • BLM mineral management maps
  • Coastal navigation and air traffic maps
  • CIA maps
  • Nautical charts and coastal navigation maps
  • National Geographic maps
  • Air traffic maps

Maps in the general collection can be found using the library's online catalog, OneSearch, and may be checked out.

Maps in Archives and Special Collections

Archives and Special Collections holds the Regional and Historic Maps collection, which contains over 7,000 maps. This collection focuses primarily on Montana and the Northwestern United States, and is located on Level 4 in the Montana Room.

Examples of maps that you can find in the Regional and Historic Maps collection include:

  • Topographic maps of Montana
  • Road maps of Montana
  • Geologic & hydrologic maps of Montana
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Missoula and other Montana cities
  • BLM mineral management maps of Montana
  • Native American reservations
  • Railroads

Maps in the Regional and Historic Maps collection can be found using the library's online catalog, OneSearch. They do not circulate, but we can make photocopies or scans of most them for a fee. The maps are available for browsing Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. If you need help locating a map in this collection, the reference desk in the Montana Room has personnel on hand to assist you.

Several hundred maps in this collection have been digitized and are available online via the Mapping Montana and the West collection in the Montana Memory Project. For assistance on navigating this site, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Second copies of almost half of this collection are available in the library's general collection on Level 1. Patrons wishing to check maps out should refer to the library catalog to see if there is a circulating copy.

To learn more about finding digitized maps from Archives and Special Collections on the Montana Memory Project, watch this short video.