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Maps & Geospatial: Maps

Detailed information on finding maps at Penn State

Maps Collections - Penn State

Higgbee Stream map of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries are home the largest map collection in Pennsylvania with over 337,000 sheets.  The Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information is responsible for 300,000 of these maps.  It has a selective housing agreement with the State Library of Pennsylvania and the FDLP and acts as the Regional Depository Library for maps in Pennsylvania.  The Center concentrates on PA, US and world maps dating from about 1900 and forward, although it has a large collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of PA.  The Fletcher L. Byron Earth and Mineral Sciences Library concentrates on below ground maps useful.  The Penn State Special Collections Library primarily hold rare maps prior 1900.  Some maps can be found in the Digital Map Drawer.

How Maps are Organized

Our map and aerial photographs are organized by the Library of Congress Call Number system which groups maps by geographic area.  ( then use information from this website.

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.  


Maps in databases


Latin America and the Caribbean