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Maps and atlases


The Map Collection at Virginia Tech, the largest in the State outside of the Washington, D.C. area, is divided into two primary 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, Newman Library, Virginia Tech, inventories the collection. The majority of maps are housed in the Map/Atlas Section on the first floor of Newman Library.


Topographic coverage of the U.S. and foreign areas produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, Defense Mapping Agency, Australian National Mapping Agency and others form the backbone of the collection. Other important map series include maps of the Census Bureau, CIA, National Geographic Society, National Forest Service and the National Park Service. The collection is rounded out by an extensive collection of state and city road maps, raised relief maps, reproductions of historic maps and views, and nautical and aeronautical charts.

Several digital mapping resources are available. Software and data for map creation, such as ArcView (for Arc Info formatted data files), LandView (for TigerLine and other U.S. government data files) and Map Expert (for roadmaps of the U.S.), are located in Port, Torgersen 3300. Additional digital mapping resources can be found on the Maps, GIS and cartographic data page.

Locating a map 

Maps are divided according to format. Folded road maps are found in boxes arranged in alphabetical order by state for the U.S. and by country for the rest of the world. Flat map sheets are stored in map cases arranged by continent, country and country division. Access to the collection is by browsing the appropriately labeled drawer or box. Few maps are cataloged and are available on Addison.

Atlases and gazatteers 

Atlases, gazetteers and related reference materials are located in the Maps/Folio section on the fifth floor. These complement and assist in interpreting the information available on maps. They are cataloged and available on Addison.

Reference services 

Reference is provided from the Business, Humanities, and Social Science Reference Desk on the second floor of Newman Library (231-9232). Difficult questions may be referred to Bruce Obenhaus (phone: 231-6181) or Ed Brooks (phone:231-9225).

Circulation policy 

Maps circulate on a limited basis. Check at the Reference Desk, second floor, for the maps lending policy. Atlases and gazetteers in the Maps/Folio section labeled Reference or Non-circulating do not circulate. All other book materials may be checked out at the Circulation Desk.

Search Summon for maps

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Maps Librarian

GIS specialist

  • Ed Brooks
  • GIS Specialist
  • 540-231-9225
  • Newman Library room 2030
    560 Drillfield Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

Data request form

Newman Library Hours

Open 24/7 through May 10th.
Wed. May 11, 2016 - Closes at 8 P.M.

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