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A guide to map resources and online maps

About the Map Collection


In the mid 1960s the library took over management of the map collection previously housed in the Geography Department. In 1969 the library became a depository for United States Geological Survey maps. The collection now contains almost 190,000 maps and 2,300 atlases.


General Description

The map collection is a non-circulating reference collection of maps, atlases, gazetteers, soil surveys, and climatological publications. The collection exists to serve the research needs of the faculty, students, and staff of Western Michigan University. The vast majority of the maps are acquired through the U.S. depository program and consist of various topographic series from the United States Geological Survey, maps of foreign countries from the Central Intelligence Agency, national forest and grassland maps from the Department of the Interior, and nautical and aeronautical charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  For more information, please see the "Collections" tab.



Please do not return maps to the drawers. Staff will do that. In addition, please do not fold maps from the drawers, even if they seem to have been folded at one time. We are trying to preserve them; folding and refolding them will cause them to tear sooner.