UI map collection reaches far and wide

Are you the type of person who can pore over maps for hours at a time, or is fascinated by satellite photos of the regional landscape? The University’s map collection, housed in the Main Library, contains maps, aerial photographs, gazetteers, atlases, reference sources concerning maps and cartography, and equipment for map tracing and inspection.

The collection is located on the library’s third floor and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the winter session.

Visitors can access more than 176,000 sheet maps, including maps issued by city, county, state, and national governments, as well as by international organizations and a variety of commercial publishers. The collection is international in scope and subject coverage is broad, excluding only geologic maps, which are located at the Geoscience Library (www.lib.uiowa.edu/geoscience) in Trowbridge Hall. Rare maps include copies of pre-1900 maps of Iowa, as well as Sanborn fire-insurance maps for more than 1,000 Iowa cities from the 1870s through the 1930s. The collection also holds German and Japanese topographic maps captured during World War II.

The collection also boasts more 100,000 aerial photographs of Iowa’s counties. County atlases (www.lib.uiowa.edu/maps/countyatlases.html) for the period from the 1870s to the 1930s are available for all Iowa counties on microfilm, and more than 600 Iowa county plat books published since the 1950s are available in book form.

Visit www.lib.uiowa.edu/maps for more information about the UI Libraries map collection.