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Historical maps and collections

Newman Library

Map (paper) collection
We have a small collection of historical maps covering the state of Virginia, other states and some foreign countries housed in the Map/Atlas Section located on the first floor of Newman Library.
Special Collections
Original historic maps are located in Special Collections on the first floor of Newman Library. A Guide to the Map Collection in the Special Collections Department, inventories the collection. This guide lists and describes United States maps in Special Collections of the University Libraries, Virginia Tech. Many of the maps listed here date from the nineteenth century and earlier. Many are rare, and in the case of manuscript maps, some are unique. High-quality reproductions of rare maps and bird's-eye views of cities are also included. University Libraries Digital Library and Archives has digitized and made available several map collections in the Special Collections Department. Civil War Maps is a collection of maps that reflect planning, location of armies, and battles during the Civil War, 1861-1865. And the Historical Maps collection consist of Images of maps from the Historical Map Collection include Virginia Tech campus, Virginia, United States, and world maps.

Other resources

David Rumsey Map Collection
The historical map collection has over 22,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.Maps
Historical Topographic Maps (MyTopo)
As a special service to the mapping community, MyTopo is proud to host this collection of historic USGS topographic maps
Library of Congress
The Geography and Map Division (G&M) has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 CDs/DVDs. The online Map Collections represents only a small fraction that has been converted to digital form. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are in public domain, meaning those which are not covered by copyright.
Library of Virginia
The Map Collection contains more than 60,000 items and includes general historical maps (manuscript, printed, and photocopies of Virginia maps from other collections), special groups of historical maps, United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) topographic quadrangles, drawings, and plans. The collection also has microfilm copies of the early series of U.S.G.S. Virginia topographic quadrangles; two series of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Virginia (from the Library of Congress and from the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Company Archives); and selected nineteenth-century Virginia maps in the Library of Congress on microfiche. Since Virginia is not a public land state, there are no land-ownership maps. However, there are some maps that show residences. Modern tax maps can be found in records at local courthouses. The Civil War Map Project has nearly 200 Civil War cartographic items from the Library's vast map collection originally digitized as part of a cooperative project between the Library, the Library of Congress, and the Virginia Historical Society. And the Alan M. Voorhees Map Collection which extends from the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle through the U.S. Civil War period with the bulk of the collection consisting of pre–20th century maps. Included are maps made by Schedel, Ptolemy, deBry, Mercator, and Smith among many others. In a variety of map formats, such as nautical charts and views, the collection focuses primarily on the Chesapeake Bay area and the development of Virginia within the larger geographical and historical contexts of Europe and America. Virginia Memory hosts 67 of the approximate 72 titles housed in both the Library's Map Collection and Special Collections. Many of these maps were part of the exhibit Maps, Charts, & Atlases: The Alan M. Voorhees Collection at the Library of Virginia held from March 1, 2004–July 3, 2004 for the inaugural Voorhees lecture.
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Includes collection of online CIA and historical maps. Worldwide coverage, with a focus on United States and Texas maps.

Maps Librarian

GIS specialist

  • Ed Brooks
  • GIS Specialist
  • 540-231-6181
  • gisdata@vt.edu
  • Newman Library room 2030
    560 Drillfield Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

Data request form

Newman Library spring hours

Sun: Open 9:00am*
Mon-Thu: Open 24 hours*
Fri: Close 8:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 8:00pm

* During 24 hour operation, a valid Hokie Passport is required to access or remain in the library between 12 midnight and 7:30am.

Current semester hours