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About the Map Library Collection

The Map Library is the University's chief cartographic resource center for maps, atlases, place name literature and cartographic reference materials in paper and electronic format. This predominantly contemporary collection for maps supports research and teaching and is international in scope. Currently there are over 270,000 maps, 2,000 atlases, 350 gazetteers, 500 reference books, and various CD-ROMs in the Map Library. The Map Library also features a GIS workstation and color printing. Access to other cartographic resources, including GIS data, can be obtained via the Internet and the World Wide Web.

The Map Library is a designated Federal Depository Library and, as such, receives the most recently published maps of the United States Geological Survey and other United States government agencies.

The mission of the Map Library is to assist students in obtaining resources for research and learning, faculty in gathering resources for research and teaching, and the general public in their educational or recreational pursuits.

The collection includes the following:

Topographic Maps

  • USGS (United States Geological Survey) topographic maps, all states and scales
  • Canadian topographic maps, most areas, selected scales
  • Mexican topographic maps, selected areas
  • Geological Survey of Japan, AIST publications
  • National official topographic series, selected countries and scales
  • AMS (United States Army Map Service) and GSGS (Geographical Section, General Staff of the British War office) World War II and post-World War II era topographic maps, most countries and scales

Aeronautical and Nautical Charts

  • NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Service) aeronautical charts, most world areas, series, and scales
  • NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NIMA nautical charts, United States, and most of the world

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Union List of paper maps

  • Ohio cities and towns, 1880s - 1950s, paper and microfilm
  • Ohio cities and towns, 1867 - 1970, available online through OhioLINK and OPLIN

Nirenstein Realty Atlas Collection

The Nirenstein National Realty Map Collection is a product of the now-disbanded Nirenstein National Realty Map Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, established in 1925 by Nathan Nirenstein.

The primary purpose of the atlases, when printed, was to serve as detailed and in-depth information guides to urban and suburban businesses and shopping centers across North America, including the Dominion of Canada.

The atlases housed in the Kent State Map Library collection span publication dates roughly from 1925 to 1958, when production of the atlases ceased, and cover a wide range of geographic areas. The primary index for the atlases, found in the front of all 12 copies, describes the atlases as containing “Complete and Accurate Information on Business Locations, such as “the percentage of locations,” “history of the city,” “principle industries,” “chain stores,” and “aerial views.” It lists itself as “the standard reference for banks, chain stores, colleges, insurance companies, investors, libraries, realtors, state, country and municipal offices,” as well as declaring itself as an authoritative source, stating that it is “Compiled from original records, private plans and actual surveys by M.L. Bowers, Civil Engineer, Springfield, Mass., under the personal direction of Nathan Nirenstein with the assistance of [multiple] engineers.” (Nirenstein Index, p. 2).

Other Cartographic Resources

  • GIS workstation featuring ArcView, ArcGIS, CD-RW drive, and Census 2000 data
  • Maps of U.S. states, regions, cities, etc. (road, geologic, soil, climate, vegetation, political, historical, etc.)
  • Large collection of Ohio maps (state, local, regional)
  • USGS geologic and hydrologic maps
  • U.S. National Forest maps
  • Daily Weather Maps of the United States, 1900-1962
  • Maps of countries, regions, cities, etc. throughout the world (road, geologic, soil, climate, vegetation, political, historical, etc.)
  • CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) political and thematic maps
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