Map Collection

To provide map material in support of the University teaching and research at all levels and in all pertinent subject areas and to preserve important graphic interpretations of historical periods and geographic areas. Maps are used most heavily by faculty and students in the fields of geography, geology, history, area studies, anthropology and archaeology, although there is considerable use of certain thematic maps by researchers in advertising, marketing, economics, public affairs, marine science and many other subjects.

Unless specifically suited for the Benson Latin American Collection,  the Walter Geology Library, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History or the Harry Ransom Center, all materials will be housed in the Map Collection of the Perry-Castañeda Library and/or be made available on the Library’s web site or in the University of Texas Digital Repository.

English is the primary language of the Map Collection but maps in all languages are considered for inclusion based upon the quality of the cartography and the availability of mapping for any specific area or subject.

There are no chronological limitations, but emphasis is placed on the 20th century and most historical maps and atlases acquired are newly published or reprints.

Geographical coverage is World-wide. Lunar and planetary materials will be acquired very selectively. Particular emphasis is placed upon areas are of relevance to academic programs and identified university research.  There is a focus on collecting maps of Texas and the Austin area.

Topographic, political, transportation, outline and base maps and atlases are acquired. World, national, regional, and state atlases are collected. Thematic maps and atlases are acquired according to subject guidelines, and emphasis will be given to economic, historical, linguistic, demographic, and transportation maps and atlases. Current editions of road and travel atlases and travel guides containing maps are selectively acquired, as are school maps or atlases and juvenile materials.

Because of the varied informational needs to be met by the map collection, many types of materials are required, including selected reference works, such as bibliographies, indexes, reference guides to map materials, gazetteers, and dictionaries of geographic and cartographic terms (See also Reference Collection Policy).  Map types collected include sheet maps, index maps and map catalogs, road maps, navigational charts and bathymetric charts, aeronautical charts, city plans, photomaps, raised relief maps, facsimiles and atlases.  Wall maps, star charts, and globes are acquired on a very selective basis. Bound collections of reproductions of antiquarian maps and facsimiles of rare or historical atlases are purchased.  Databases containing GIS data, data sets and digitized maps are collected according to research needs as funding permits. 

Emphasis is upon the most recent mapping for any area or subject. Superseded editions of maps are kept if they are of genuine historical value.  Rare historical maps and atlases are kept in the Center for American History, Ransom Center or Benson Latin American Collection.  Current editions of atlases are sought and older editions of standard atlases are acquired very selectively as are early printings of atlases of historical interest; reprints or facsimiles are preferred in the latter case.

Electronic and print format materials are collected to meet the needs of users.  Depository arrangements with e.g., the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program, the U.S. Geological Survey and other organizations, assure comprehensive coverage for selected areas.  The Collection serves as the Regional Depository Library in cooperation with the Texas State Library for most maps distributed by that program.  For collection policies for maps in the Benson Latin American Collection and Walter Geology Library, see those collection policies.

Contact Katherine Strickland, Map Coordinator