Catalog Searches | Topographic Maps | Uncataloged Maps | Ask a Librarian

Catalog Searches

Cataloged maps can be located through IUCat. Use the Advanced Keyword Search form and put the location of the area you're looking for in the Subject box. Then, try "(map or maps)" in the Keyword Anywhere box. You can also add keywords about the kind of map you're looking for. "Geology" or "Interstate 69," for example.

Be wary of limiting your search by "map" format. Many of our maps have not been encoded as such and will not show up if you select "map" as the format. Instead, add "map" as a keyword in your search.

To help narrow your search even further, use IUCAT Classic to select one of the following locations from the Location drop down menu. (At this time it isn't possible to search more than one location, and this service is not available with "new IUCAT".) Remember that searching for maps this way won't find maps in books or binders, only flat maps.

  • Wells Library - East Tower 2 - Maps [The largest collection, these maps are the most general. They will have Library of Congress Call numbers.]
  • Wells Library - East Tower 2 - SuDocs Maps [For maps from the United States government through the Government Printing Office. These maps will have SuDoc numbers.]
  • Wells Library - East Tower 2 - Rare Maps [For maps older than 1950, especially about Indiana. Sanborn and Kinsey maps are in the rare collection.]
  • Wells Library - East Tower 2 - Indiana Maps [For maps on the state of Indiana and locations therein.]


Topographic Maps

7.5 and 15 minute maps file alphabetically by state and then by quad name. Ask at the service desk to be shown where.

To find the name of the quad you need, consult the USGS Map Locator.

For other sizes, consult IUCat.

For more information about what topographic maps are and how people use them, see our Topographic Maps page.

Uncataloged Maps

A large part of the map collection remains “uncataloged" and so there are no online records for them available. These maps are filed according to an area code system that assigns numbers to continents, countries and selected other geographical features. We have adopted a modified version of the area code system used by the library of the American Geographical Society to organize our holdings.

Area Codes by Place Name | by Number

The first line of the call number contains the "area code" number and sometimes a small letter to denote the following.


denotes that this map is part of a topographical map series


denotes that this is a regional map


denotes that this is a map of a city or town

For example, something beginning 831-d would be a city map.
NOTE: Maps are filed by the order listed in the chart.

The next line contains a capital letter indicating a subject division.


denotes PHYSICAL, maps representing relief, bathymetry, geomorphology, glaciology, functional regions


denotes HISTORICAL and POLITICAL, maps showing political divisions, administrative, historic sites, archaeology, explorations, outline maps


denotes POPULATION, maps representing vital statistics and other activities related to population, census, disease, ethnology, tribes, culture, education, religion, sanitation


denotes TRANSPORTATION and COMMUNICATION, maps showing roads, airways, railways, and other types of transportation. Also maps showing other media of communication such as radio, television, telephone, radar


denotes ECONOMIC, maps dealing with natural resources, minerals, forestry, fishing, thermal energy, recreation areas, national parks, conservation, agriculture, vegetation, land use, land tenure, trade, finance


denotes GEOPHYSICS, maps showing earthquakes, seismology, volcanoes, terrestrial magnetism, radiation


denotes GEOLOGY, maps dealing with general geology, tectonics, soils, paleogeography, petrology


denotes HYDROLOGY, maps showing water, its composition, distribution, and use


denotes METEOROLOGY and CLIMATOLOGY, maps showing distribution of climates, temperature, precipitation, winds, hurricanes, barometric pressure


denotes MATHEMATICAL, maps representing projections, time zones, surveys, mapping, globe gores, aerial photography


denotes ASTRONOMY, maps showing the position of planets and stars


denotes ZOOGEOGRAPHY, maps showing distribution of animals, insects, fish, and their diseases


denotes MISCELLANEOUS, including pictorial maps, cartoons, advertisements, treasure maps, tapestries, block diagrams

After the letter usually comes the year the map was made. The third line would contain the name of the subregion. So, keeping with our example, a map with call number:


would be of Indiana, a city therein, a map of population information made in 1986 and the city would be Bloomington.

We have a list of the area codes here online and also in print at the ET2 service desk.

Area Codes by Place Name | by Number

Ask a Librarian

You are always welcome to ask the staff of Government Information, Maps and Microform Services for help.

Return to Government Information, Maps, and Microform Services.