Young Science Library Map Room

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Young Science Library is Closed for the Spring 2017 Semester

As part of the transition for the New Neilson Library project, Young Science Library will be closed for the duration of the spring 2017 semester.  Frequently circulated books from the Young Collection are located on Level B of Neilson Library. The rest of the collections will be in storage. See this page for ways to access items from the collections.

Map Access While Young is Closed

For questions about access to maps, please email

Map Access

Access to the Map Collection and staff assistance for this collection are now available by appointment only. Please email

General Information

The Young Science Library map collection contains close to 200,000 U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) (formerly known as the National Imagery & Mapping Agency [NIMA]), and Canadian Geologic Survey topographic and geologic sheet maps, as well as maps published by a variety of state and other surveys. The collection also includes gazetteers, atlases, manuscripts, wall maps.

Additionally, the Smith College Libraries have access to many online Map Resources.

Circulation Policy

Access to the collection is available to Smith and Five College patrons and the public.

Maps circulate only to patrons with a valid Smith ID. The Libraries' borrowing policies for books apply to maps as well. Maps which are brittle or are marked as "Library Use Only" do not circulate. Maps are expected to be returned in the same condition in which they went out. Please do not fold the maps. Replacement fees will be billed to a patron who returns a map in damaged condition.

Locating Maps

The collection is housed in the McConnell Hall Map Room. Library staff will provide assistance by appointment in identifying and locating maps. Please email Several standard topographic and geologic map indexes, guides, and two key databases are available to aid in map identification and location.

A summary guide to the map collection follows:

Topographic Maps (USGS)

Organized alphabetically by state and then alphabetically by quadrangle name. We currently collect the following topographic series:

  • 1:24,000, or 7.5 minute maps of the U.S. and its contingencies.
  • 1:62,000, or 15 minute maps of the U.S. and its contingencies. (Aside from those for the state of Alaska, these are out of print.)

We also have some pieces of the following USGS series depicting the United States:

  • 30 degree X 60 degree, 1:100,000, topographic
  • BLM (Bureau of Land Management), 1:250,000, topographic
  •  1 degree X 2 degree, 1:250,000, topographic
  •  County Map series
  •  National Park and National Monument Maps
  •  Color Image Border Maps, depicting Canadian / U.S. and Mexican / U.S. Border

Thematic Maps

Published by the USGS in folded format and filed by Report Number, thematic maps include geologic, hydrologic, geophysical, and various other investigations. An easy way to locate a Report Number is to use Andriot's Guide to USGS Publications (SC/Science Map QE77 .G84 1997). Additionally, most of the thematic maps are indexed in the GeoRef database. (When using GeoRef, note the Report Number which appears at the bottom of the abstract.)

We collect the following thematic map series from the USGS:

  •  Coal Investigations (C)
  •  Circum-Pacific Maps (CP)
  •  Geophysical Investigations (GP)
  •  Geologic Quadrangles (GQ)
  •  Hydrologic Investigation Atlases (HA)
  •  Geologic Investigations (I)
  •  Miscellaneous Field Studies (MF)
  •  Mineral Investigations Resource Maps (MR)
  •  Oil and Gas Investigation Charts (OC)
  •  Oil and Gas Investigation Maps (OM)

State Geologic, Base, Selected Foreign and Other Maps

Geologic Maps of the United States (various scales): Flat Format
These maps are filed in alphabetical order by state and then by quadrangle name, when applicable, in Wooden Cabinet #4. This cabinet also contains miscellaneous physiological and economic maps, as well as some geologic maps of quadrangles within the states.

Geologic Maps of the United States (various scales): Folded Format
These maps, filed in alphabetical order by the name of the state, are stored in the lateral metal cabinets. These cabinets also contain various other maps published by individual state surveys. [Note: Andriot's Guide to USGS Publications or the GeoRef database can be used to find a geologic map of a particular quadrangle.]

Base and Relief Maps of the United States (various scales)
These maps are filed alphabetically in Wooden Cabinets #5 (Alabama-California) and #1 (Colorado-Wyoming).

Maps of Foreign Territories
Though not currently being collected, some older base and topographic maps of foreign territories are filed in Wooden Cabinet #2. Geologic maps of foreign territories are filed in Wooden Cabinet #5.

All maps published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - NGA are stored in the two rows of metal flat files. These maps, published mainly between the 1940's and the 1960's, include topographic, political, road, and thematic maps for foreign countries, world regions, and also the United States. A Binder of Indexes as well as some gazetteers related to the areas covered by some of these maps are available for reference.

The library owns numerous regional, topical, and thematic atlases. They are currently in storage, but can be identified and requested (for on-campus use only) through the Five College Library Catalog (after June 1, 2017).