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Special Collections: Maps and Atlases
How to Find Maps
The library has both individual maps and atlases (bound, published collections of maps).
Individual maps are part of Special Collections and may be requested in special collections. To identify maps, do all of the following:
1. Check the Combined Map Inventory.
2. Browse our online catalog. Choose "Power Search" and enter maps under the "Collection Group" search field.
3. Check the subject index to maps, a card index which includes many maps not listed in the Combined Map Inventory. This index is in the card cabinet in the Microfilm Reading Area . The index is labeled "Maps A-Z."
4. Check the plat card index for a plat of a specific land tract. The plat index can be found in the card cabinet in the Microfilm Reading Area and is labeled "Plats A-Z."
Atlases are part of the collection of the Main Reading Room. To find atlases, do a keyword search in the online catalog for atlas. If you have a call number for an atlas listed in our catalog, but cannot find it, please request it at the reference desk in the main reading room.
In addition to numerous county atlases, the Library owns the following:
Hammond-Harwood Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland (REF MG1270.P3 1982)
Martenet’s Map of Maryland: Atlas Edition (MG1270.M39M37)
State of Maryland Historical Atlas (REF MG1271.S1R3)
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1885-1950, 1950-1970 (Microfilm 1252-1265)
The American Revolution, 1775-1783 (G3701.S3G8 )
Atlas of Early American History (REF E209.S3C2)
Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (E464.U62)
Campaigns of the American Revolution (G1201.S3P4)
Historical Atlas of Religion in America (REF G1201.E4G3)
Map Guide to the US Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (REF HA195.E25 T498)
Township Atlas of the United States (REF G1200.A57)
West Point Atlas of American Wars (G1201.S1U5)
Atlas of Baltimore and Its Environs, 1876 (Hopkins atlas) is exceptionally useful for Baltimore City north of North Avenue. Sanborn maps (see below) did not cover this area until the 1930s.
Atlas of the City of Baltimore, 1885, 1896, 1906 (Bromley atlases) have much more detailed building information for the city than the earlier Hopkins atlas but less information about surrounding areas. The numbers on the buildings indicate their height, and colors represent building materials.
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and atlases are the best for finding information about buildings. In addition to the microfilm noted above, the library also owns originals of the following print editions for Baltimore City:
1879 edition. 2 vols. These are in the cabinet under the balcony at the back (east) wall of the main reading room.
1902 edition, corrected through 1914. 4 vols. These are in the cabinet under the balcony at the back (east) wall of the main reading room.
1914 edition, corrected through 1937. 9 vols. These must be requested at the reference desk. Please use the microfilm before requesting the print version; it may provide the information you need.