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Research Guides

Collection Guidelines: Cartographic Resources: Scope and Location

Public guidelines for how resources are collected in the Maps department

Location of Materials

  • Suzzallo and Allen Libraries Map Collection (primarily Ground Floor and Basement) is the major location for the cartography collection in print.

    • Materials in the Basement require assistance from a staff member for retrieval

  • Gazetteers are no longer collected in print, and are now available online

  • Electronic resources such as databases may be found on the Geospatial Data Resources Guide

  • Other Related Collections

    • Smaller collections of cartographic materials are found in the East Asia Library, Friday Harbor Library, Health Sciences, Special Collections, Suzzallo Reference and Main Collections, and the UW Tacoma and UW Bothell Libraries.


a. Chronological

Emphasis is placed on the current period. Currently published maps and atlases that show historic maps, boundaries, and events are also acquired.

b. Geographical

Maps, charts, and atlases are collected for all areas of the world and for planetary bodies within our solar system. Aerial photography is acquired for Washington state, space imagery primarily for the Pacific Northwest.

c. Language

Primary collecting emphasis is on English, however materials in all languages are acquired as appropriate to the area of geographic coverage.

d. Format

Both physical (maps, globes, charts, aerial photography, planetary imagery, books, serials) and digital (geospatial data, microforms, space imagery) formats are collected.

e. Exclusions

Subject. Recreational material that cannot be used for academic purposes is GENERALLY excluded. Examples include travel and trail guidebooks.

Formats. Wall maps, star maps or charts, and maps that are part of other publications are generally excluded from the collection.