Skip to main content
Link to Libraries homepage
Link to Libraries homepage
Rutgers University Libraries

Scientific Maps: USGS Maps at LSM

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

USGS Topographic Maps

The inventory of United States topographic maps at the Library of Science & Medicine (LSM) is searchable on the web. LSM has:

7.5' series, scale 1:24,000, all states - latest edition distributed (NJ latest and previous editions)
15' series, scale 1:62,500, incomplete but cover almost all states
30' series, scale 1:125,000, incomplete
60' series, incomplete
U.S. territories, 7.5' series, scale 1:24,000 - Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, complete
U.S. 1:250,000 series,arranged alphabetically by quadrangle name
U.S. 1:500,000 series, arranged alphabetically by sheet name
Alaska 1:250,000, arranged alphabetically by sheet name
Metric topos, scales vary 1:25,000 / 1:50,000 / 1:100,000
Base maps - scales vary - 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000

All of the topographic maps are located in the map cabinets on the first floor of the library. They are arranged by scale, alphabetically by state, and within state by quadrangle name (exceptions noted above). Maps are accessed using the index maps for each state.  These are kept folded in the second drawer of the black filing cabinet adjacent to the map cabinets. The index maps are arranged alphabetically by state name. A New Jersey index map is mounted and hanging on the end of a nearby reference book stack.

United States topographic maps are also available online from the U.S. Geological Survey website.

USGS Thematic Maps

Thematic map series at LSM include:

A - Antarctic Geologic maps
C - Coal investigations: Geologic maps on topographic or planimetric bases; various scales; show bedrock geology, stratigraphy, and structural relations in certain coal-resource areas.
GP - Geophysical Investigations: Maps on topographic or planimetric bases; various scales; show results of surveys using geophysical techniques, such as gravity, magnetic, seismic, or radioactivity, which reflect subsurface structures that are of economic or geologic significance. Many maps are correlated with the surface geology.
GQ - Geologic Quadrangles: Multicolor geologic maps on topographic bases in 7.5' or 15' quadrangle units; scales are mainly 1:24,000 or 1:62,5000; show bedrock, surficial, or engineering geology. Maps are accompanied by brief texts and some maps by structure and columnar sections also.
HA - Hydrological Investigations Atlas: Multicolored or black and white maps on topographic or planimetric bases presenting a wide range of geohydrologic data; both regular and irregular areas; rpinceipla scale 1:24,000, regional studies at 1:250,000 scale or smaller.
I - Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations: Maps on planimetric or topographic bases; regular and irregular areas; various scales; a wide variety of format and subject matter. The series also include 7.5' quadrangle photogeologic maps on planimetric bases which show geology as interpreted from aerial photographs. Series also include maps of Mars and the Moon.
L - Land use and Land Cover: Compiled using USGS Level I and II classification system depicting land cover and man's activities. Associated maps include olicital units, hydrologic units, census county subdivisions, and Federal land ownership.  Scale 1:250,000 or 1:100,000.
MF - Mineral Investigations (field studies): The maps are either the preliminary results of ongoing studies or the final results of studies that lack the scope necessary for the I and GQ Series. They are intended for rapid publication and are mostly author prepared.
MR - Mineral Investigations Resources: Mineral distributiona and classification maps; scales from 1:250,000 to 1:5,000,000; show geographic distribution and grade of mineral-resource commodities. Brief accompanying text may include a general description of the geological occurrences, a locality index, and a bibliography.
OC - Oil and Gas Investigations Charts: Charts show stratigraphic information for certain oil and gas fields and other areas having hydrocarbon potential.
OM - Oil and Gas Investigations Maps: Maps on planimetric or topographic bases of oil and gas fields or other areas having hydrocarbon potential; various scales; show geology and sub-surface geologic structure.
SIM - Scientific Investigations Maps: Include both black-and-white and multicolor sheets and pamphlets and cover such diverse subjects as geology, bathymetry, vegetation, landforms, hydrology, hydrogeology, land classification, map projections, quality of water, aquifers, distribution of species, and maps of the Moon, planets, and other satellites. The series may also include oversize graphic presentations that are not maps, such as correlation charts, cross sections, block diagrams, or other charts or tables. The series may include collections of related maps or charts addressing different aspects of a single geographic area or scientific topic, issued separately or bound together in book format.

Records for maps currently received appear in QuickSearch. See for example, Geologic map of the Round Spring Quadrangle.... USGS thematic maps are kept in horizontal file cabinets in the reference map area on the first floor of LSM.  They are arranged by series and number. 

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers web sites to: accessibility@rutgers.edu or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback Form.