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Maps: Geologic Maps

A guide to library research tools for maps, mapping and Geographic Information Systems.

Finding Geologic Maps

Geologic maps are housed in the Hayden Library.

To locate these maps, consult the following reference sources:

U.S. Geological Survey Maps

USGS maps are arranged by USGS series at the Science Library. They are filed in the USGS map cabinets in the Schwarz Map Room in numerical order within the particular series. To find the series and number of the map you need, consult the Guide to USGS Publications. Under the state name, maps are indexed by 7.5' quadrangle names. To determine the quadrangle name for your area of interest, consult the map indexes stored in the file cabinet in the Reference area.

Map Series

Canadian maps, maps issued by state geologic surveys, Geological Society of America (GSA) maps and American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) maps are available. Indexes to some of these maps are listed in the "Index Maps and Reference Aids" section below.

Books and Atlases

Many geologic maps are included as plates in books. A subject search in the Barton catalog under "Geology--place name" will identify the books  which cover your area of interest; choose the "Full display" option when viewing a record in Barton to find out whether maps are included in the book. Books which focus on a particular geographic area may be found in the stacks beginning at QE39.

For atlases, use a combined keyword search in Barton: sw=place name and w=atlas*.

Check the folio shelves for a geological atlas of your area.

Indexes to Maps and Reference Aids

There are folders for each U.S. state which contain various state and USGS map indexes and bibliographies.

The following publications may be helpful in determining which maps cover your area of interest.

  • Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey - Z1223.G345
  • Index to Publications, Geological Survey of Canada - ZQE185.A4
  • Bibliography and Index of Geology - ZQE26.G345
  • Guide to USGS Geologic and Hydrologic Maps - ZG3700.G8 19xx (latest edition on reference)
  • International Maps and Atlases in Print - ZGC1019.I5
  • Geologic Reference Sources - ZQE26.2.W3
  • An Index of State Geological Survey Publications - ZQE80.C791 (issued in series)
  • The Map Catalog - ZGA105.3.M26 1986
  • Publications Catalogs for State Geological Surveys (kept in Princeton files -ask for help)

Finally, a search in the GeoRef database may help you find maps covering your area of interest.