Maps and Geospatial Information

Overview

The Map Collection was started in the 1940s and developed into a collection of more than 230,000 maps, 3,000 atlases, 900 reference books, globes, printing plates, and other cartographic-related materials.  In 2015-2016, digitization of some 15,000 privately-issued sheet maps issued before 1921 (with select titles post-1921) dramatically enhanced access and usability of the collection. The historic maps themselves were then moved to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library as were antiquarian globes and reproduction cartographic instruments. To complement our numerous online resources, the Map Collection’s extensive set of government-sponsored survey maps and a select collection of contemporary print maps, dating from circa 1900 forward, will be moved to the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI) in Fall 2016. The CSSSI also offers geospatial content and services, including consultation expertise, spatial data and access to supporting software. 

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

All Yale academic programs and research centers are supported.

General

Yale University Library contains cartographic and related material from all geographic regions of the world as well as other celestial bodies and imaginary places, covering all subject areas.

Formats collected

Coordinated by the CSSSI Director of Collection Management, subject specialist librarians select maps and geospatial data for acquisition in response to requests from faculty members and students in support of teaching and research. Additions to the map collection emphasize electronic formats including original digital maps, digitized paper maps, and geodata. Print materials are added by special consideration only. 

Languages collected

Maps and geospatial data are acquired primarily in English but may be in any language, as requested by faculty members and students for research purposes.

Chronological and geographical focus

Chronology and geography of maps and related formats are collected to reflect the teaching and research needs of the institution.

Collaborations within Yale

Antiquarian maps (roughly considered to be maps and atlases issued before 1900) are selectively collected by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Center for Science and Social Science Information collects contemporary maps and geocoded information; support for the collections and related research is provided by the Center for Science and Social Science Information. Maps and geospatial data may be acquired at the request of Yale faculty and students in support of teaching and research.

Subject Librarian

Kevin Merriman