Yale Map Department's Workflow


The primary call number format for material in the Map Department consists of a geographic number followed by a “situation” date. [Need explanation of situation date.] An additional cutter field is added for subordinate geographic entities (provinces/states, cities, etc.) when applicable.

852 Holding Field

The appropriate Map Department location/collection code is entered into ‡b of the 852 holdings field. The geographic number is entered in ‡h. The cutter number (if applicable) and “situation” date is entered in ‡i.

852 Location Codes for the Map Department:

smlmap=Map Department [unlocked area]

smlmapa=Map Department, atlases
smlmapr=Map Department, reference 
smlmapl=Map Department, locked room
smlmapg=Map Department, GIS
smlmapb=Map Department, atlas reference
smlmapu=Map Department, uncataloged
lsfmapr=Map Department items at Library Shelving Facility


Ashburn’s map of San Antonio, Tex.

Call number: 796gmb Sa51 1951
(explanation: 796=Texas, gmb=”roads,” Sa51=cutter for San Antonio, and 1951=situation date)
Call number as typed into Orbis MFHD:
852:80:‡a smlmap ‡h 796gmb ‡i Sa51 1951

Map title: Map of New Mexico with the latest discoveries [This is a facsimile.]

Call number: Small *841 1778/1970
(explanation: Small=stored in area for small-format maps, *=stored in the locked room, 841=New Mexico, 1778=situation date of original map, 1970=date of facsimile)
Call number as typed into Orbis MFHD:
852:80:‡a smlmapl ‡k Small ‡h 841 ‡i 1778/1970

For multi-part enumeration, use the 866 field in addition to the 852 field. Use first indicator 4 (detailed enumeration and chronology), second indicator 1. Always precede subfield a with subfield 8, followed by 0 (linking number).


For the map series [Italy 1:100,000], where the enumeration refers to folders, with sheat spread indicated per folder

866:41: ‡8 0 ‡a Folder 1:sheets 2-22 
866:41: ‡8 0 ‡a Folder 2:sheets 23-40B
866:41: ‡8 0 ‡a Folder 3:sheets 41-60

Introductory Labels, Subfield k

There are a number of collections in the Map Department which require a ‡k call number prefix. The following material requires a ‡k in the 852 holdings field:

  • ‡k Covers: for maps folded in covers less than 22 cm. in height or less than  25 cm. in width.
  • ‡k Covers, plus sign [+] before final cutter (i.e., oversize Covers): for maps folded in covers between 22 cm. and 28 cm. in height and 25 cm. and 34 cm. in width.
  • ‡k Double Covers: for maps folded in covers over 28 cm. in height or 34 cm. in width.
  • ‡k Small: for smaller maps stored in the “small” boxes/drawers.
  • ‡k Roll: for roll maps.
  • ‡k Series: for maps issued in series (e.g., maps following standard map series designation).
  • ‡k Wall: for flat-folded wall maps.
  • ‡k Cross: for maps associated with the Cross Collection
  • ‡k LTS: for maps associated with the London Topographical Society


Maps kept in the locked room receive the location code “smlmapl”; however, on the item itself, mark the call number with an asterisk.

Map title: J. De Cordova’s map of Texas.
Call number as marked on item: Covers *796 1851
Call number as typed into Orbis MFHD: 
852:80:‡a smlmapl ‡k Covers ‡h 796 ‡i 1851

Covers series

On any items marked with both the term “Covers” and “Series,” remove the word “Series”; leave “Covers.”


For the map series “Mapas de Mexico,” which is a series of 22 maps that, taken together, cover all of Mexico, the call number is “Covers 88gmb 1954A” for all items; when marking each item, add a  “1,” “2,” “3,” etc., at the end of the call number, to differentiate the items.

Undated maps

For maps of unknown date, use “X”s to fill in the missing digits.

Example 796 S26 18XX
The above call number is for a map titled “San Luis [Texas]”; research indicates the map is dated from the 1800s, but a more specific decade or year cannot be estimated.

Call Number Duplication/Conflicts

When adding additional copies for material which is bibliographically identical, add “Copy 2,” “Copy 3,” etc. following the call number.

If there is a conflict with an already existing call number, add an upper case letter, following the “situation” date. If a letter is taken, use the next letter. Disregard any ‡k call number prefix.


Novissima et accuratissima totius Americae descriptio … [Amsterdam : Jacob van Meurs, 1673]

Call number: 70 1700

Terra nova, ac maris tractus circa Novam Franciam … Amsterdam : Gedruckt by Fredrick de Wit in de Kalverstraet, [ca. 1700?]

Call number: 70 1700A