Finding Maps and Aerial Photographs

Looking for...Maps and Aerial Photography

The Map and Aerial Photography (MAP) Library, located in the Document Center on the Knight Library's first floor, has over 300,000 maps and over 550,000 aerial photographs. Established in 1968, the MAP Collection offers a unique collection of contemporary and historic mapping of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. The Aerial Photography collection is the largest of its kind in Oregon and offers complete coverage of the state. Photo flights date back as far as the late 1920s.

Finding Maps

The University of Oregon Map Collection is a full depository for all current USGS topographic mapping, NOAA's navigational charts. It still holds a full selection of NIMA aeronautical charts, although that depository program has ended.

We have maps of every state, with a special emphasis given to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Topographic mapping is also available at various scales for over 100 countries, including Canada and Mexico. The Map Collection also includes National Forest and National Park maps, USGS geologic mapping, scientific maps of selected western states, current and historic ODOT maps, and thematic and political maps of world nations and regions.

Many large sets of maps are described with their own web pages. A list of such guides is available here. Most of our older sheet maps and USGS technical series are in the UO Local Catalog.  You can always restrict your search to show only maps and atlases by using the 'limit to' pull-down menu:

Picture of library catalog limit function

A similar function exists in UO WorldCat's advanced search screen:Image of UO Worldcat's 'limit by format' option

The map collection is physically divided into several distinct parts:

General Maps Thematic and Political maps of Oregon, United States, world countries
Shelved by LC call number. Includes world nations and individual U.S. states.
Topographic maps Complete sets of USGS 1:24,000 and 1:100,000, as well as partial coverage of many countries around the world.
USGS maps are shelved alphabetically by sheet name for each stat.  USGS topos are available online!  International topos have been assigned call numbers. Finding aids are available.
Class sets Various duplicate map sets available for classroom and lab use
Ask Map Librarian for more Information
Yes: by arrangement
Historic Various topographic and thematic maps of Oregon, USA, and the world Shelved according to call number.

Please ask staff for assistance.

Folded maps Scientific reports, road, and tourist maps from around the world Shelved by call number.  Location indicated by (vf) or (Sci-vf) Yes


Steps to Finding Maps

  1. Most most maps are not cataloged, therefore if you cannot find the exact map you need in the catalog, you can usually determine a call number where maps of your area of interest should be.
  2. If you cannot find a number in the catalog, identify the LC call number for your geographic area.
  3. Most maps and atlases are filed according the the Library of Congress "G" classification schedule.
  4. Maps can be found between G3180 (Universe, Solar System) and G9980 (Unidentified places)
  5. Class numbers can be determined using:
  6. You may need to subdivide your call number by subject.

    Example: G4291.C3 - Water resources investigations in Oregon

    4291 = Oregon
    .C3 = hydrology

    More about reading call numbers. This page contains a summary of subject Cutter numbers.

  7. Make sure to look in ALL the places your map might be. Call numbers repeat in a number of areas. You may also see 'Filing Indicators' on call numbers you find in the catalog. Currently used filing indicators are:


(vf) (sci vf) Folded maps kept in filing cabinets in the lower area of the Document Center. (sci vf) is no longer in use, but maps with this designation are still all filed with (vf).
(over) Oversized maps kept on top of the International Topographic Map cases
(mini) Small, page-sized maps stored in wooden cabinets near the scanning room.
(tub) Mostly map sets, stored in large metal tubs in the lower area along with (vf).
(hist) (hist over) and (hist mini) Are older materials that are kept in storage.  Please ask for assistance if you would like to examine these materials.

Only folded maps circulate.  These may be checked out for one week to students and two weeks to faculty and graduate students. Here are detailed circulation policies.

For more information and assistance, please contact the Document Center at (541) 346-3070, or the MAP/GIS Librarian at (541) 346-3051.

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Finding Aerial Photography

The University of Oregon's Aerial Photography Collection is the largest collection of its kind in the state, with projects dating from as early as the late 1920s. The collection contains images from agencies such as the USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now the NRCS), the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, and the Oregon Department of Revenue, as well as from private corporations.

The photographs are available for inspection upon request. We have two different request procedures: academic patrons can request photos be retrieved free of charge for UO (and other OUS) students and staff; public requests are processed for a fee. Requests should always be accompanied by a map and contact information. For requests covering large areas or for special class projects, we recommend you make an appointment with our aerial photo technician or call (541) 346-4565. Staff are available to help Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00pm.

Aerial photographs do not circulate to students or the public. Faculty may borrow duplicate sets of photos for a limited time for classroom use, please speak to the Map Librarian for details. Patrons may scan photos using an 11x 17 scanner in the Learning Commons area.

The MAP Library also has a growing set of digital aerial photos and orthophoto quadrangles, please be sure to ask the Map Collection staff for more information.

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Finding GIS Data

The UO Map and Aerial Photography collection has a growing set of geospatial datasets available to both the public and students. State-wide data for Oregon is available as well as data for Eugene-Springfield and Lane County. ESRI's ArcGIS software is available throughout the library system. Data is available:

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Finding Atlases

The UO Map and Aerial Photography collects atlases from Oregon, the United States and from around world. Among the most requested items are Metskers Property Atlases for Oregon counties, and Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlases for Oregon Cities and Towns. In recent years, national atlases of the People's Republic of China and Russia have been added. All atlases are cataloged and can be found through the UO Library Catalog. Users may limit the search to "Maps & Atlases".

Atlases are shelved between G1000 (Universe, Solar System) and G 3122 (Imaginary places)


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