Skip to Main Content
Syracuse University Libraries

Maps and Cartographic resources: Home

Come to the Map Room and travel the world. The collection has cartographic and reference materials in a variety of formats that cover the entire Earth.

The Map Collection

Panoramic view of the Map Room

The Collections

The Library's Map Room is the location for cartographic materials in a variety of formats. With a collection of over 200,000 sheet maps, 5000 atlases, 80,000 aerial photos, and 50,000 maps in microform, the map collection also has an expanding collection of maps in a digital format. The Map Room also has a collection of Sanborn fire insurance atlases, along with a teaching collection of globes and wall maps and has an extensive reference collection of gazetteers, place-name guides, geographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, and guide-books.

The Map Room has three large worktables for patrons to use. Scans of maps in print or from microform can be made from the two computers located in the workstation area next to the 3rd floor service desk.

Also use the Virtual Map Room Tour to discover the what kinds of cartographic collections can be found in the Map Room.

Searching for a Map or Atlas in the collection

The maps, atlases and other cartographic materials are cataloged in the Classic Catalog or in SUMMON. A member of the staff will be glad to assist you with any questions you may have regarding the collections or finding the materials you need.

  • Classic Catalog: To search only the map collection start by using the Advanced Search tab. Scroll down to Location and select E.S. Bird Library – MAPS from the drop down menu. Now enter your search subject terms and place names, etc. into the search boxes at the top to find maps and atlases
  • SUMMON: Enter your search terms in the search box. When you see the list of results, look for the "CONTENT TYPE" in the facets list on the left. Click the "MORE ..." link under the "CONTENT TYPE" and then click the green check mark next to MAPS and then click the APPLY button at the top. You will now see a list of maps that match your search terms.


Most maps can be circulated or checked out at the Maps/Documents Service Desk on the 3rd floor. A valid SU or SUNY-ESF ID is required. Atlases, Reference titles, and aerial photographs do not circulate. Please look for the map of the floor plan of the Map Room when you enter the collection where the various collections are located and a complete list of items that circulate.

Map Room Hours

The map room is open the same hours as the third floor in Bird Library. Please check the HOURS page on the Libraries homepage.

Citing a Map

Other LibGuides of interest

Syracuse University - 150 Years in Maps

With the 150th anniversary of Syracuse University in 2020 the University Library's Map Collection has created a series of displays with maps and air photos of campus and its evolution through the past 150 plus years. The display is currently in the main hall of the third floor of Bird Library.

There is also an online display of these maps and air photos depicting the growth of the University from it's beginnings in the Myer's Block downtown to the current footprint of buildings and facilities of Main and South Campuses on "The Hill".

What's in the Map Collection


  •  A wide range of atlases of the world and foreign national atlases, current and historical atlases of the US and New York State in paper and microform are available.
  •  Extensive Sanborn Atlas collection: Nation-wide digital coverage online (1867-1970). Additional years (1960-1990) on microfilm for MA, VT, CT, RI, PA, NJ, DC, and NY and NYC as well as paper for NYC (1916-1980).

Topographic Maps

  •  Topographic series providing coverage for most areas of the world at a scale of at least 1:250,000
  •  Comprehensive coverage of the United States, including all published U.S.G.S. topo maps at 1:250,000, 1:100,000, 1:62,500 and 1:24,000
  •  Coverage for Canada and European countries at 1:50,000
  •  Current editions of NOAA and NOS charts

Thematic Maps

  •  Coverage of all parts of the world, especially North America, the United States and major cities. Subjects include: road maps, physical and biological sciences, human, cultural and political geography, economics, forestry, agriculture, manufacturing, technology, communications, trade, the military, and historical geography.
  •  Extensive coverage for New York state and the city of Syracuse.


Profile Photo
John Olson
358 Bird Library

Individual appointments for in-depth reference inquiries are also welcome through MS Teams or Zoom.
Social Media: Twitter Page