Geospatial Resources

Main Content

Morris Library's Geospatial Resources area includes the Map Library and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) services.

The Map Library was established in the early 1950s and has a collection of 

  • Approximately 255,000 maps
  • 93,000 aerial photographs
  • Atlases, gazetteers, and Illinois county plat books 
  • Books on the history of cartography
  • Cartography-related books.

The geographic coverage of the map collection is worldwide. The aerial photography collection is limited principally to Illinois and surrounding states.

The Map Library is part of the Federal Depository Library Program and includes

  • U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangle coverage for the United States
  • A large number of geologic maps.
  • Topographic sheets for foreign countries

Other maps available include

  • Road and street maps,
  • Base maps
  • Aeronautical and nautical charts,
  • Plat maps and books,
  • General reference maps, and
  • A wide variety of thematic (subject) maps.

Map Library staff have also created a research guide with selected online resources.

As part of Geospatial Resources, the Map Library coordinates its service to patrons with Geographic Information Services (GIS). GIS-support services include:

  • Access to the available GIS and Remote Sensing software and general GIS/GPS support.
  • Assistance in identifying spatial data sources for use in specific research or class projects.
  • Consultations on integrating GIS methods into research/coursework assignments or on a specific GIS task.
  • Generating files or images through scanning, digitizing, geo-referencing and analysis of large format data/images provided by patrons, available online or from the Map Library.

Location, Hours, and Staff at the Map Library

The Map Library, located on the 4th floor of Morris Library, is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm. Principal reference assistance is available 1 to 5pm.

For Map Library assistance or an appointment, e-mail or phone 618-453-2705.

For GIS Lab support or an appointment, email

Reference Assistance and Circulation at the Map Library

The Map Library staff will gladly assist patrons in identifying and accessing cartographic resources. Only a small percentage of the library's map resources are currently included in the online catalog, I-Share, and patrons may need to use the card catalog in the Map Library to identify map and air photo holdings. Map Library book and journal holdings are included in I-Share. The Map Library staff will also assist with interlibrary loan access to maps and other cartographic resources at other libraries

Most maps circulate for two weeks, with renewals to sixteen weeks. Aerial photographs dated later than 1956 circulate for the same period. Both maps and air photos are checked out at, and returned to, the Help Desk in the Map Library.