Maps focused on the composition, structure, and distribution of earth materials. Geologic maps may depict bedrock formation, surficial units (deposited sediment), mineral resources, and structural hazards (fault lines, volcanoes, etc.).
Maps that depict water resources information. This information may include the position and characteristics of bodies of water (lakes, rivers, streams), water temperature, floods/flood areas, drainage areas, water availability, and aquifer information.
Maps that are made up of aerial photographic images. There are several types of photoimage maps and the amount of relief indicated varies from area to area as well as from type to type of photoimage map. Satellite image maps are a type of photoimage map.
These maps utilize contour lines to illustrate the elevation and shape of land. Topographic maps (frequently called "topos") often depict both natural and manmade features including mountains, valleys, plains, lakes, rivers, roads, boundaries, transmission lines, and major buildings.1
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has created the best known topographic maps. These maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. The USGS also created smaller scale maps covering larger areas of the United States. These are the 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps.
Maps that have a theme or subject as part of the cartographic information displayed on the map. This can include cultural data, environmental themes, etc.
Hunter Library has an entire section of the main floor of the library devoted to maps. This section contains both topographic and themed maps as well as some atlases and gazetteers.
Topographic maps of the 50 states are available on the tall wooden shelves (shelved alphabetically by state then by quadrant name), while themed maps are housed in the metal cabinets (shelved by Library of Congress call number). Topographic maps of the 50 states are generally 7.5 minute maps (1:124,000), though small scale maps are available.
Other topographic maps and themed print maps cover the United States and the rest of the world and are available in many different sizes and scales. Hunter Library's themed maps include trail maps of local interest.
Finding a print map in Hunter Library can be tricky. Standard topographic are shelved alphabetically while thematic maps are shelved by call number
To search for a map in the catalog, enter your search terms in the box below. Results will automatically be limited to anything that is classified as a map.
Hunter Library's map section contains many standard maps including both small- and large-scale topographic maps of North Carolina and all of the other fifty states. We also have recreational maps of many nearby hiking/biking/canoeing areas including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Patrons can also expect to find maps of many other countries that display a variety of subjects including roads, languages, ethnic populations, settlements, etc.
One thing unique to Hunter Library is our local area historic map collection. We have many historic maps of the area that allow patrons to trace changes to place names as well as changes to roadways and railroads, old settlements, and cemeteries.
Lost? We can help you find what you need. But first, a little background:
Our maps are organized into three main areas:
- Topographic maps on the tall, deep wooden shelves
- Thematic maps with call numbers in the metal map cases, and
- USGS series maps (folded in manila envelopes) on the narrow wooden shelves.
The 7.5 minute topographic maps do not have call numbers. These maps are shelved alphabetically by state and within each state, alphabetically by quadrant names.
If you have a call number, your map is mostly likely located in map cases 1 - 7. Map cases 8 and 9 also have some maps with call numbers, but these focus on Forest Service Maps, small scale topographic maps, and specialty North Carolina maps.
If you have a call number but can't find your map in map cases 1 - 7 and it isn't one of the three types of maps (see above) housed in cases 8 or 9, then you may have a USGS series map. These maps are kept in manila envelopes and occupy the narrow wooden shelving next to the gazetteers and atlases in the maps area of the library.
How do I know if I have a USGS series map? Check the catalog record for the map you need. If you see an entry for "Alternate Series Record" at the bottom of the page and it says something like "Miscallaneous investigations series (Geological Survey (U.S.))," then you have a USGS series map.
If I have a USGS series map, how do I find it? You'll need to note the USGS series and series number and then head back to the tall wooden shelves to look through the manila envelopes that contain the USGS series maps. Please ask for help at the Reference Desk if you are unsure or have difficulty.
What if I have a call number but I can't find it in the cases, it's not a topographic map, and it's not a USGS map? Come ask for help at the Reference Desk. Maps can be missing, misshelved, or withdrawn but still have a current call number.
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Cullowhee, NC 28723
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