Young Science Library Map Room

Young Science Library is Closed for the Spring 2017 Semester

As part of the transition for the New Neilson Library project, Young Science Library will be closed for the duration of the spring 2017 semester.  Frequently circulated books from the Young Collection are located on Level B of Neilson Library. The rest of the collections will be in storage. See this page for ways to access items from the collections.

Map Access While Young is Closed

For questions about access to maps, please email

General Information

The Young Science Library houses over 150,000 U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) (formerly known as the National Imagery & Mapping Agency [NIMA]), and Canadian Geologic Survey topographic and geologic sheet maps, as well as maps published by a variety of state and other surveys. The collection includes gazetteers, atlases, manuscripts, wall maps and several recently acquired multi-media map products that may be requested at the Information Desk for in-house use.

Most of this collection is located on the Science Library's lower level, although a large number of maps are also in storage. Several standard topographic and geologic map indexes and guides that aid in map identification and location are filed in a designated cabinet in the Map Room on the lower level. Assistance in identifying and locating maps is available at the Circulation Desk.

Additionally, the Smith College Libraries have access to many online Map Resources.

Circulation Policy

The Young Science Library is open to the public and staff are available to help with using the collection.

Maps circulate only to patrons with a valid Smith ID. The Young Science Library's borrowing policies for books apply to maps as well. Maps which are brittle or are marked as "Library Use Only" do not circulate. Maps are expected to be returned in the same condition in which they went out. Please do not fold the maps. Replacement fees will be billed to a patron who returns a map in damaged condition.

Locating a Map

The majority of the maps in our collection are housed in the basement level of the Young Science Library. Many standard indexes, which aid in the identification and location of maps in the collection, are filed in a labeled metal cabinet in the Map Room. A guide to the Science Library's map collection follows:

Topographic Maps (USGS)

Organized alphabetically by state and then alphabetically by quadrangle name. We currently collect the following topographic series:

  • 1:24,000, or 7.5 minute maps of the U.S. and its contingencies.
  • 1:62,000, or 15 minute maps of the U.S. and its contingencies. (Aside from those for the state of Alaska, these are out of print.)

We also have some pieces of the following USGS series depicting the United States:

  • 30 degree X 60 degree, 1:100,000, topographic
  • BLM (Bureau of Land Management), 1:250,000, topographic
  •  1 degree X 2 degree, 1:250,000, topographic
  •  County Map series
  •  National Park and National Monument Maps
  •  Color Image Border Maps, depicting Canadian / U.S. and Mexican / U.S. Border

Thematic Maps

Published by the USGS arrive in the folded format and are filed by Report Number in the metal cabinets along the north wall. Thematic maps include geologic, hydrologic, geophysical, and various other investigations. An easy way to locate a Report Number is to use Andriot's Guide to USGS Publications (SC/Science Map QE77 .G84 1997). Additionally, most of the thematic maps are indexed in the GeoRef database. (When using GeoRef, note the Report Number which appears at the bottom of the abstract.)

We collect the following thematic map series from the USGS:

  •  Coal Investigations (C)
  •  Circum-Pacific Maps (CP)
  •  Geophysical Investigations (GP)
  •  Geologic Quadrangles (GQ)
  •  Hydrologic Investigation Atlases (HA)
  •  Geologic Investigations (I)
  •  Miscellaneous Field Studies (MF)
  •  Mineral Investigations Resource Maps (MR)
  •  Oil and Gas Investigation Charts (OC)
  •  Oil and Gas Investigation Maps (OM)

State Geologic Maps, Base Maps and Other Maps

Geologic Maps of the United States (various scales): Flat Format
Filed in the cabinets on the south side of the Map Room in Wooden Cabinet # 4. In this cabinet, we also have miscellaneous physiological and economic maps, as well as some geologic maps of quadrangles within the states. These are filed in alphabetical order by state and then by quadrangle name (when applicable).

Geologic Maps of the United States (various scales): Folded Format
Filed in the metal cabinets along on the north wall of the Map Room. In these cabinets we also have various other maps published by individual state or country surveys. These are filed in alphabetical order by the name of the state or country. (Note: To find a geologic map of a particular quadrangle, use the Andriot's Guide to USGS Publications or the GeoRef database.)

Base and Relief Maps of the United States (various scales)
Fiiled in Wooden Cabinets #5 (Alabama - California) and #1 (Colorado - Wyoming). They are arranged in alphabetical order by state.

Maps of Foreign Territories
Though not currently being collected, some older base and topographic maps of foreign territories are filed in Wooden Cabinet #2. Geologic maps of foreign territories are filed in Wooden Cabinet #5. All maps published by the NGA (formerly the National Imagery & Mapping Agency [NIMA]) are filed in a storage area and need to be requested for retrieval.


Atlases are filed on the Atlas Shelves in the Map Room, and are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. Bibliographic access to this collection is provided by the Five College Library Catalog. The Young Science Library owns numerous regional, topical and thematic atlases. These do not circulate.

Maps in Storage

Maps published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) (previously known as the National Imagery & Mapping Agency [NIMA] and the Army Mapping Service [AMS]) are filed in the Science Library's storage facility in McConnell Hall. These maps, published mainly between the 1940's and the 1960's, include topographic, political, road and thematic maps for foreign countries, world regions, and also the United States. A Binder of Indexes as well as some gazetteers to these maps is available in the Map Room. To request a map from storage, please ask at the Circulation Desk for assistance. Please allow 24 hours for the retrieval of a map from storage.

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