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Maps and Atlases in Holland & Terrell Libraries: Home

A guide to the maps, atlases, gazetteers, and map indexes in Holland and Terrell Libraries at Washington State University.

General Information

Map and atlas resources in the Holland and Terrell Libraries consist of atlases, map collections, and gazetteers. Most, but not all, of the map/atlas resources in the Holland and Terrell Libraries are entered in Search It, the WSU Libraries' catalog.

The Owen Science and Engineering Library has an extensive map room on the 3rd floor.  In it you will find USGS topographic maps for 12 western states, geologic maps put out by the Washington State Division of Geology and Earth Resources and USGS series maps (including Miscellaneous Investigation, Geologic Quadrangle, Geophysical Investigations, Hydrologic Investigations Atlas, Miscellaneous Field Studies, Land Use Series, and Oil and Gas). There are also some older geological, agricultural, mineral, bathymetric, topographical maps and atlases of the region, country, world, and universe, including the Mt. Palomar Sky Atlas.   US Forest Service maps, recreational maps, and other collections are available.

Indexes to Maps

Search It, WSU Libraries' catalog

Catalog of Government Publications (CGP), is an index of U.S. federal government publications

U.S. Congressional Serial Set (WSU only) Thousands of maps have been published and distributed by the U.S. government in the Serial Set (Senate and House Documents and Senate and House Reports) since 1789. Included are such topics as the exploration of lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, U.S. General Land Office surveys, foreign maps resulting from conflicts abroad or exploration, soil survey maps, and social and economic development maps such as energy sources, water resources, and transportation. 

A searchable subset, Serial Set Maps are those published in the Congressional Serial Set from 1872 - 1972, Serial Set Volumes 1544 - 12991.   The collection includes more than 60,300 maps. The print counterpart to the database is CIS Serial Set Index, pt. 14, Index and Carto-bibliography of Maps, 1789-1969.  Holland and Terrell Reference Z1223.Z7 U5


Map Collections

Map collections are located in rows 17 and 18 at the north end of the Microforms Room, 1st floor of Holland Library. The following collections are there:

  • Army Map Service (AMS) 1945-  ; rows 17-18, Files 2-6
  • Navigation Charts   row 17, File 6
  • AMS Captured Maps    row 18, files 7-8
  • British Maps (GSGS)    row 18, files 8-9

AMS maps, British maps, and navigation charts are filed by map number. To find this number use the Army Map Service Index or GSGS Map Index located on the top files 2-3 in row 17. Ask for assistance at the Reference Desk if you need assistance in finding the map.

The AMS Captured maps are not indexed.

  • U.S. Government Maps (SuDoc classification):  small maps in row 17, file 1; large flat maps in row 18, files 10-11.

This collection includes maps received through the federal depository library program and published by agencies such as the Census Bureau, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Maps published since 1976 can be searched in Search It. To find pre-1976 maps search the Catalog of Government Publications or ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

  • Maps in Library of Congress classification    row 18, file 11

All maps except for the AMS Captured Maps may be checked out for 7 days.

Map Vertical File

Individual maps of the world, world regions, countries, U.S. states, and cities are located in a vertical file cabinet in the Holland and Terrell Libraries reference area. Also in this collection are Metsker and Big Sky county maps as well as a collection of thematic maps (e.g., time zones, historical, environmental). They may be checked out for 7 days.


Holland and Terrell Libraries atlases are in several locations: library stacks, the reference collection, and the atlas case in the reference area. Some of the larger format atlases and current editions of world, U.S., and regional atlases are kept in the atlas case near the Terrell reference desk and additional atlases are in the reference collection. Atlases in library stacks can be checked out while atlas case and reference collection atlases are for use in the library only.


A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or index. Many general and specialized gazetteers are located in the Holland and Terrell Reference collection, for example Columbia Gazetteer of the World, Cambridge Gazetteer of the United States and Canada, Washington Atlas and Gazetteer, and Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. Many other gazetteers are in the Holland and Terrell Libraries and Owen Library book and online collections. Use Search It to locate them.

For Defense Mapping Agency gazetteers of foreign countries search one of the catalogs to locate exact title, location, and call number.  AMS (Army Map Service) Gazetteers  (uncatalogued) are in the Holland and Terrell Libraries reference area on the top of stack 5. The National Gazetteer of the United States of America is located in Holland Documents (3rd fl. West) at I 19.16:1200-US.

The following online gazetteers are also official government sources:
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the United States' official repository of domestic geographic names information.
U.S. Gazetteer (U.S. Census Bureau)
NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS) is the official repository of foreign place-name decisions approved by the US Board on Geographic Names.It is sponsored by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Subject Guide

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Erin Hvizdak
Terrell Library 120F
Washington State University, Pullman
(509) 335-9514
WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us