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Maps & Geospatial: Topographic Maps

Topographic maps provide a detailed representation of the natural and man-made features of the earth's surface.

Penn State Libraries

The Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information is Pennsylvania's regional Federal Deopsitory Library for maps distributed by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. This collection includes topographic maps of  all 50 U.S. states.  We have maps at several scales and time periods.

The collection also includes topographic maps for other countries. See the Other Countries tab in this guide for more information about how to find these maps.

We have digitized our 15 minute Pennsylvania maps.

Topographic maps newer than 1960 can be checked out.

To find topographic maps in the Libraries' sheet map collection, 

  • For Pennsylvania, enter the quadrangle name and the word topographic in the search box

  • For other states, use the state name and scroll through sheet names.

  • Penn State has at least one quad from nearly every state.

  • To find quad names, use this site.  You can also download sheets.

Search for Maps in the catalog

  • Search for, and request, maps across all Libraries' locations using The Catalog
  • Use keywords that answer the questions:
    • What place do I want to see?
    • What type of material (format) am I looking for?
    • What type of map do I want? (topographic, tourist, etc.)

Sample of a libraries catalog search

You can also limit your search by Format:

Image of libraries catalog search limiting to maps item type


You can then limit by library location and/or date.

Tip! When you have located a map using the catalog, be sure to write down the entire call number and its location. If the map is located at a campus or branch other than the one you normally visit, you may request that it be sent to your location by clicking on the blue I Want It button or request a scan.