A listing of the map collection held at Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library as of February 2014. These include United States Geological Survey (USGS) topographical quadrangles and environmental studies, Central Intelligence Agency foreign country profiles, and National Atlas maps, encompassing historical, political, cultural, environmental, and sociological topics.
The collection’s main emphasis is on USGS topographical maps of Louisiana. Most of these are the well-known 7.5 minute and 15 minute quadrangle layout, and range in dates from 1935 to 2006. These USGS print maps are now considered “legacy,” or historical maps. This is because in 2009 they began using new surveying technologies and GIS information sources to produce digital maps online. Some consider the legacy maps to be more accurate and trustworthy since they use older methods of aerial photography and field checking. The print maps are useful for comparison with the newer GIS-produced maps, as well as for studying changes in geographical
and historical features over time.
The map collection is located on the fifth floor of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, not far from the elevators. They are shelved in four main groups: Louisiana USGS Maps, U.S. and North American Maps, Foreign Maps, and World Maps. Each group is organized alphabetically by quadrangle, state, country, or title. When using the maps collection, please seek assistance in the Microforms Department on the second floor.
The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has a large selection of atlases on a variety of topics.
Several print atlases can be found on our atlas stands on the 2nd floor, outside of the Graduate Study Room.
Digitization of the collection began in 1996 and there are now over 38,000 items online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.
A collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. Includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover.
Social Explorer “contains over 18,000 maps, hundreds of profile reports, 40 billion data elements, 335,000 variables and 220 years of data”. It can be used to locate census tract boundary information from 1940 to the present.