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Scientific Maps at the Library of Science & Medicine

Information on finding maps, with an emphasis on the Library of Science and Medicine and online collections.

Maps at Rutgers University Libraries

[This guide was created by Stephanie Bartz and is unlikely to see significant updates after her retirement in December 2022.]

There are many types of maps, and more than 100,000 in the Rutgers University Libraries collections, generally housed depending on the type and subject content of the map.

Some of the maps in the library collections are cataloged, and records can be found in QuickSearch. Using the Resource Type filter at the left of any results screen, you can limit your search results to maps. Many of them are available online.

The majority of maps in the library collections, however, are not cataloged, and their location depends on the general subject matter and type of map. For example, political and recreational maps are housed in Alexander Library.  Maps from government agencies like the Census Bureau, the CIA, and the National Park Service, as well as Hagstrom and other atlases can be found there. 

Historical maps are housed in Special Collections and University Archives located within Alexander Library. These maps range from the 16th century to the present, with an emphasis on New Jersey. More information about the collection is available from Special Collections and University Archives.

Scientific thematic maps and topographical maps are housed in the Library of Science and Medicine. The majority of the more than 100,000 maps at LSM are from the U.S. Geological Survey. However, other federal agencies such as the Forest Service, Defense Mapping Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Fish and Wildlife Service, to name just a few, publish maps of various subject content. The geographical coverage of the LSM map collection is international, with emphasis on the United States and New Jersey. 

The Dana Library has a limited map collection, including current editions of 7.5' topographic maps for New Jersey and the surrounding regional area.

Types of Maps

Meteorological - show air currents, weather systems, and climate

Navigational - aid air and sea travel

Physical and topographical - show the physical features and land contours of an area

Political - show the boundaries of countries, provinces, states, etc.

Thematic - illustrate specific topics such as population density or soil type.

Transit - show roadways, bus routes, and other transportation routes


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