Skip to main content

Maps & Geospatial: Maps

Detailed information on finding maps at Penn State

Maps Collections - Penn State

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries are home to over 300,000 maps.

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 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.  It 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 conentrates on below ground maps useful.  The Penn State Special Collections Library primarily hold rare maps prior 1900.  

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 CAT

  • Search for, and request, maps across all Libraries' locations using The CAT
  • To begin searching: Use the Advanced Search page
  • 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.)

search tips screen capture

You can also limit your search by Material Type:

  • use Advanced Search screen
  • in the drop-down menu for Material Type select Map

search tips screen capture alternative searching

Tip! When you have located a map using the CAT, 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.