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Government Information Research Guide

Government Documents at WVU including federal and state holdings. View documents in print, microforms, data sets, maps, posters, CD’s, DVD’s and online and is is open to the public and is available during the service hours.

Tips for Finding Maps in the Catalog

WVU Libraries online catalog; use it to find books, articles, periodicals, microforms, and A/V media owned by the libraries. Limit your results by choosing Maps under Format on the left hand side.

You can also use the Advanced Search and limit your search to Map under Format.

Topographic Maps

The largest series of maps in the collection is the 7.5 minute topographic map series for the entire United States produced by the U.S. Geological Survey.  There are approximately 53,990 map sheets in this collection.  Topographic maps display selected characteristics of the terrain of an area including elevation, rivers and lakes, roads, trails, cemeteries, incorporated areas, churches, and many other features found in the landscape. These maps are used for research, surveying, land use planning, and recreational purposes such as hiking and camping.

The topographic maps are arranged by state and then alphabetized by quadrangle names within each state.  To locate a topographic map for a certain place, use the topographic map index provided for each state or search Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).  Quadrangles are usually named after the most prominent feature of the area.  Other topographic map series in the collection include 15-minute Maps, 30 x 60 minute Maps, BLM Surface & Mineral Management Maps, County Maps, State Maps, and National Park Maps.  A set of topographic maps for the state of West Virginia is also kept in the Downtown Campus Library Reference Department.  These maps can be checked out for one week.  They can also be purchased from the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey  at 1 Mont Chateau Road, Morgantown, WV  26508. (304- 594-2331)

Geologic & Hydrologic Maps

This group includes Oil and Gas Investigation Maps and Charts, Coal Investigations Maps, Geologic Quadrangle Maps, Geologic Investigation Series (formerly Miscellaneous Investigation Series), Miscellaneous Field Studies Maps, Hydrologic Investigation Atlases, and State Geologic Maps. These maps are produced by USGS and indexed in the Guide to USGS Publications.  They are arranged by series number. These maps are housed at the Wise Library ground floor. Please ask at the Research Services Desk for using these maps.

Aeronautical and Nautical Charts

The collection has some nautical charts of the United States, its territories and possessions from the National Ocean Service (NOS).  Some aeronautical and a few nautical charts of the world from NGA are also included.  They are dated serial maps arranged by numeric order.

Global Maps

Global maps include topographic maps and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) maps. The CIA maps of foreign countries and of the world are arranged by Superintendent of Documents Classification number (SuDocs number).  They show political boundaries and important place names such as capital cities.  CIA country maps are excellent for reports and presentations.