The Marriott Library has one of the largest collections of cartographic resources in the Intermountain West. They are located in two major collection:
- The Map Collection is on Level 1, at the north end of the Science and Engineering stacks. There are over 250,000 sheets, most of them available for borrowing. All maps except for some of the USGS topographic series are now in the public catalog. The Map Collection drawers are also the place where we store accompanying sheets that have been separated from books found in the library shelves. These have the same call numbers as their books. And there are several drawers of government documents, with the "SuDoc" call number system.
- The Western Americana map collection, located on Level 4. This collection contains mainly maps of Utah and neighboring states, and has the older maps, including mining claims maps, Salt Lake City plat maps, early road maps, and the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. These maps may not leave the Special Collections area. Identify the map you want to see through the catalog, and ask for it at the main Special Collections service desk.
- There are also pre-1850 maps in our Rare Books division, ranging from 19th century surveys of the West (published as part of the "Serial Set") to 16th and 17th century early maps of the World and the Western Hemisphere, dating from the Age of Exploration. As with the Western Americana maps, you need to identify them through the catalog and ask to see them at the main Special Collections desk.
Major strengths of the Marriott's map holdings:
- U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps. We have the entire country covered at each scale, including the largest-scale 1:24,000 series.
- Utah and surrounding states
- The Middle East, which is the focus of a longstanding Area Studies program at the University of Utah.
- We have coverage for all U.S. states and something from all countries, including major cities.
- We also have a good atlas collection, located on shelves in the nearby reading alcove.
The Digital Age begins: Maps online
- The Marriott Library is rapidly expanding its Digital Collections, providing online access to many resources from newly-published journals to centuries-old manuscripts. Various historical maps are being scanned as part of appropriate collections, such as the American Westward Migration collection.
- The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, a much-used resource in our Special Collections, have now been scanned when old enough to fall in the "public domain," i.e., beyond copyright restrictions. These maps show cities and towns in Utah at a large scale, including every building on a city block, and what material they are made of! There are three large sets covering Salt Lake City.
- We are beginning to explore making software available that allows a user to create one's own map using data sets. There is much statistical data available from the federal and state governments that can be fed into mapping software such as a Geographic Information System (GIS) and visually display as a map.
- The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that it is no longer printing its topographic maps in paper or distributing them for free to libraries, as it had done for many decades. But it is continually updating the digital base for these maps and making them available online as "The National Map." Utah, after many years of neglect, will be fully updated in 2011. The site to access USGS topographic information is: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/index.html