Skip to Main Content


U.S. Maps

The United States Government has placed these maps on deposit at the UVa Library through its Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).  Most federal agencies produce maps to fulfill both internal and external information needs, and these maps make up the majority of UVa’s collection.

Maps in depository collection are shelved according to the SuDocs call numbering scheme developed by the Superintendent of Documents of the US Government Printing Office.  In this scheme, items are shelved according to who published them, as opposed to the LC classification used by our non-government maps, which are organized by geographic area.  For a complete explanation of how this call number system works, see here.

Frequently Requested Depository Maps

While our collection contains a great variety of maps, we have found that most of our usage comes from maps produced by a subset of agencies.  For your convenience, these series and call numbers are outlined below.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Call numbers - C 55.
    Nautical charts covering the US coastline at various scales, plus some foreign ports
  • Defense Mapping Agency (defunct)
    Call number D 5.354:
    Various series providing both large- and small-scale maps of the entire world
  • US Geological Survey
    Call number - I 19.
    Topographic, geological, and other thematic maps
  • Central Intelligence Agency 
    Call number PREX 3.10/4:
    Large and small format political and physical maps of foreign countries
  • US Department of Agriculture
    Call number A - Housed in Ivy Annex
    Maps of National Forests and National Grasslands, including recreation maps and conservation plans

Topographic Maps (US Geological Survey)

This is the national base map series. Topographic Maps are shelved by series, and are updated irregularly, as newer maps are received. Most of the maps in this collection are from 1960 to the present. The Map Room keeps only the most up to date copies of these maps, except for Virginia.

Modern Topographic Map Series
Map Series/Scale Description Call Number & Filing Notes

7.5 Minute/1:24K Scale

Very detailed sheets covering all 50 states, plus overseas territories and possessions.  Each quadrangle shows between 49 to 71 square miles of area.


Maps shelved alphabetically by state, and then by quadrangle name within a state.  The first drawer for each state contains an index for that state. 
States west of the Mississippi, except CA, WA, and OR, are filed in Ivy Annex (2 New, NW Corner)

Index to Virginia
1:24,000 Topo Quads

30 x 60 minute/1:100K scale Intermediate level of detail and scale. Each sheet covers an area equal to 32 7.5-minute maps. Some maps at this scale provide planimetric information, rather than topography.

By state, then alphabetically by map name.

Index to Virginia
1:100,000 Topo Quads

1 degree x 2 degree/1:250K Scale Lowest level detail but greatest area. Each sheet covers an area equal to 128 7.5-minute maps. Some maps at this scale show land use, ecological inventories, and other information.


Map names correspond to largest city depicted on map. Filed alphabetically by city/map name.

Index to all 1:250,000 Topo Quads

Discontinued Topographic Map Series
Map Series/Scale Description Call Number & Filing Notes
County Map Series/1:50K scale Topographic maps for individual US counties at an intermediate scale. Not all states were mapped in this series, and our collection is by no means complete. These date from the 1970s-1980s. I 19.108:
15-minute/1:62,500 scale The predecessor series to the modern 7.5 minute and 30x60 minute series above. These date from 1890-1950. Our collection is by no means complete.

I 19.81/2:

For an index, see Riley Moffat, Map Index to Topographic Quadrangles of the United States, 1882 - 1940. GA 405 .M64 1986 (Map Room Reference).

Index to Virginia 15-minute series

Index to Virginia 30-minute series

30-minute/1:125K scale

top of page

Geological and Miscellaneous Investigations (US Geological Survey)

These maps are published irregularly, and coverage of the US is less complete than for the topographic series. We have far fewer of these types of maps, and they are shelved in different places, as they come in a variety of formats.  They are often referenced to the same quadrangles used for the topographic maps, but this is not always the case.

In addition to Virgo, you can also consult the following index:
Laurie Andriot, Guide to USGS Publications. 6026 .G3 G84 (Map Room Reference)

The AREA INDEX is of most use here. It may help to first identify your study area on a USGS topographic map, so that you have some possible alternate area names to use. Items related to the area will be listed with a series letter and item number, which correspond to call numbers as follows:

Geological and Miscellaneous Investigation Map Series 
Item Number Begins Map Series Call Number
C Coal Investigation Maps I 19.85:C-
HA Hydrological Investigation Atlas I 19.89:HA-
Hydrological Unit Maps I 19.89/2:
I Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations I 19.91:I
GQ Geologic Quadrangles I 19.88:GQ
GP Geophysical Investigations I 19.87:GP
MF Miscellaneous Field Studies I 19.113:MF
B Bulletins *I 19.3:B
P Professional Papers *I 19.16:P
* Indicates a series of maps shelved on Floor 3, New Stacks NOT Map Room.

Land Use Planimetric Maps (Bureau of Land Management)

This series covers areas of the western United States where the Bureau of Land Management maintains federal land. These maps are usually drawn to the USGS's standard 30x60 minute quadrangles, and show both physical ownership and mineral right ownership of all lands.

Surface Management Series - I 53.11/4:STATE/QUAD NAME

Mineral Management Series - I 53.11/4-2:STATE/QUAD NAME


USFS maps of National Forests (US Dept. of Agriculture)

These maps are based upon the 7.5-minute topographic map series (see above), and are essentially topographic maps with added detail regarding the national forest areas surveyed. These maps have now been discontinued as a standalone series are being replaced by topographic maps that combine the details of both series.
These are all in Ivy Stacks and can be paged via VIRGO.

Nautical Charts (NOAA/Defense Mapping Agency)

These are detailed charts of coastal areas of the world and inland waterways of the United States.  They are shelved sheet number order, with indexes to the series located on top of their map cases.


National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA / DMA / AMS)

Formerly the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) and the Army Map Service (AMS). NIMA publishes maps of many countries in various scales. Strategic areas during World War II are covered, as is much of the British Commonwealth. The United States and Latin America are not thoroughly covered. Generally each NIMA/DMA map shows only a section of a country, and includes a great deal of surface detail.

How to locate:
NIMA/DMA maps are assigned a call number of D 5.355:. They are located in the cabinets along the south wall of the Map Room Center. The large series of NIMA/DMA maps are in VIRGO. Individual sheets can be identified by using the NIMA/DMA map catalog on the bookshelves near the NIMA/DMA map cases. This file is by country and refers to the series and map numbers for any particular country.

For NIMA/DMA maps, the sheet numbers are grid numbers. Within the 1301 series the first letter (N or S) indicates whether the area is north or south of the equator, and the next letter (A-Z) indicates how far. Numbers are assigned in sequence moving eastward from the International Date Line. A typical NIMA/DMA map number would be 1301 NQ32.