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last updated: 4/24/2012

Collection Development Policies - Map

Map Collections

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This Collection Development Policy is a general statement of goals for the development of the IUB Libraries' collection on Maps. It provides an overview of the existing collections and states the principles by which the collections will be developed. In this case "Collections" refer to the Map format, but this may be in any format, print, microformat, or electron that is available world-wide for purchase, lease or license, and provided to Indiana University Libraries' users. It also informs library users at the University and elsewhere about the Library's selection principles. This policy is intended to be a flexible document that responds to the changes, challenges and opportunities in the academic environment, world of scholarly publishing world and consortial relationships.

    2. Audience
      This document intends to inform Indiana University faculty, staff, and students, Geography and Map Library staff, other IUB library patrons, and IU Libraries collection development managers, administration and staff about the current priorities and direction for the Map Collections at IU.

      This collection development policy will be reviewed and revised periodically by the Head of the Geography & Map Library, Head of the Geosciences Library, the U.S. Documents librarian, and by the Director of Collection Development.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      Indiana University-Bloomington is one of about 150 research universities that maintain large map collections. The collection in the Geography and Map Library, which represents the general, historical collection of maps on the campus originated when the Indiana University Department of Geography (founded in 1946), transferred its holdings to the IUB Libraries in the early 1970s. The Collection receives current maps through the Federal Depository Library Program as well as acquires a limited number of new maps as funding permits from commercial vendors. Collection principles for maps consider other IU collections including those in Lilly Library, Government Information (Main Library), and the Geosciences Library.

      The collection is used extensively by the students and faculty in Geography but perhaps more use is made by students and faculty in the departments of History, Anthropology, Geology, and Education. Current maps are often requested by faculty who wish to take specific maps to class for illustrating geographical aspects of current events. The general public, most frequently from areas in Indiana, are also heavy users of the historical maps, but many maps also circulate through interlibrary loan to all parts of the United States and the World.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The Geography and Map Library became an official campus library in the fall of 1973. Prior to that time, the Geography Department operated a Geography Reading Room, first in Rawles Hall and then in Kirkwood Hall. Its primary purpose was to assist faculty members and graduate students with their teaching responsibilities and research. Robert Kingsbury, a faculty member in the Dept. of Geography, expanded the existing collections in the late 1950s and 1960s. Dean of the Libraries Carl Jackson was instrumental in negotiating the integration of Dept. of Geography collections into the Indiana University Libraries.

        Initially, the Geography and Map Library was located on the top floor of Kirkwood Hall. The Library moved to its present site in Room 015 in the Student Building in October 1991. Previous librarians included Bob Plank (1967-68), David Cobb (1968-73), Dan Seldin (1974-1997). The Geography and Map Library's personnel currently consists of a 1/4 FTE librarian (the Head) and 1 FTE clerical staff member (the Campus Library Coordinator). In addition, the Library has approximately 1.5 FTE student hourly workers.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The Map Collection in the Geography & Map Library contains approximately 300,000 sheet maps plus atlases, cd-rom with cartographic materials, and journals related to cartography and map making. Many of rare maps are owned by the Lilly Library, but the Geography & Map Library also has a rare maps collections with strong holdings in historic Indiana maps from the 19th century.

        The Geography and Map Library receives maps from the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program, specifically the maps produced by U.S. Geological Survey (topographical series), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Interior. Some of these also shelve in the Geosciences Library (at present).

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        No subject is excluded but emphasis appears to be on topographic maps from various countries, as well as transportation, economic, cultural, political and environmental subjects.

      4. Collection locations
        The Geography and Map Library houses most of the historical runs of standard map series. The Geosciences Library retains the latest edition for the state of Indiana and surrounding states, but superseded editions are to be held on in Geography and Map Library. Geologic maps are housed in the Geosciences Library. All Census maps will be housed in Government Information in the Main Library. Forest Service Maps will be housed in Government Information in the Main Library.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      No language is excluded and the collection includes all languages, but the collection is predominantly in English.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Maps of the United States and its regions are emphasized but the collections include maps from every country in the world and some extra-terrestrial maps.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      No period is excluded but the collection predominantly covers the period from 1930-1980. Maps are continuously received through the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program and new maps are acquired from commercial sources as funds permit.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      All dates are considered.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Microform publications are housed in the Main Library. Electronic resources are acquired as funds permit.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Head of the Geography & Map Library is responsible for day-to-day decisions regarding the collection. Geography Department faculty and graduate students, and collection managers in other units, including Government Information, Chemistry, Geology, Business/SPEA, Economics, and Political Science are consulted.

  4. Related Collections
    It is imperative that the Map Collection be coordinated with the Geosciences Library map collection and its related materials, such as in the area of Geophysics and GIS. Map Holdings in Government Information of the Main Library also require close coordination.Main Library Reference Services Department acquires most of the major atlases and the Geography & Map Library does not duplicate unless absolutely necessary for course related support.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Principal source of maps is the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program, gifts from faculty and other library supporters, and the Library of Congress duplicates service (not used since 2001). Map catalogs on the internet are used to acquire new materials, specifically Map Link, National Geographic, and Michelin.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Because of the format, preservation needs are extensive. Only fragile maps or maps deemed high use are encapsulated. The Geography & Map Library does some in-house encapsulation to prevent serious destruction of maps and because Preservation/Conservation could not handle the quantity of maps that need this basic treatment. Rare maps, maps of greater value, maps with special needs, and atlases that need special treatment are sent to Conservation/Preservation for expert treatment.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      Historic maps of Indiana, the Kinsey Map Collection, the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps would be high-priority areas. Some of these have been encapsulated but really only a small portion of the collections.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    Generally we are not considering maps for transfer to ALF. The format is difficult to house and retrieve in an off-site facility. Future modules of ALF might be constructed to accommodate this format.

    We are planning to transfer to ALF, historic runs of the weather maps which are boxed and could be handled as a serial, boxed relief maps, large elephant size Atlases, many oversize atlases that are not heavily used but need a better shelving environment, and any wall maps that we decide not to withdraw.

  8. Digital Projects
      Three projects are of most important: Historic Indiana Maps, the Kinsey Map Collection and the Newsmaps of World War II.

    1. Criteria for selection for digitization
      1. Historically significant
      2. Limit handling because of fragile condition
      3. Broaden popular access via the Internet
      4. Illustrate the depth and breadth of the IU Map Collections
    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      1. Working with the Indiana Digital Library Summit and IUPUI, we will be updating and enhancing the digital access to the Historic Maps of Indiana (see ?pageId=1002210) and providing metadata. We have copyright permission to digitize the Kingsbury atlases and other Department of Geographic series but only have two of the atlases available (note: standards in 1997 were not as specific so these should be and hopefully will be re-done through the grant from the Indiana Digital Summit.

      2. We have submitted a proposal to digitize the primary maps within the Kinsey Map Collection to provide for secure access to this unique collection.

      3. We are seeking funding for digitization of the Newsmaps with the hope of a partnership with other CIC institutions.
  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    • CIC Map Libraries, especially those at Iowa, Michigan and Purdue.
    • The Indiana State Library and the Library at the Indiana Historical Society.
    • Monroe County Historical Society
    • University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
    • The Library of Congress Geographic and Map Division
    • Yale University Map Collection.
  10. Consortial Agreements
    Only the Library of Congress and we have not participated in this program since 2001.

    We have agreements with Purdue University to receive the superseded edition of the Canadian topographical maps and with Depauw University, who retains only the latest edition of the depository maps, but gives us superseded editions to fill in gaps.



Map Collections Home Page

Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/24/2012