Map in the library Located in the Jerry Crail Johnson Earth Sciences & Map Library, the Map Collection consists of an estimated 200,000 maps, over 3,000 atlases and geographic reference books, and more than 25,000 Colorado historical aerial photographs.

We collect general and thematic maps and atlases at small and large scales, mostly from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and related reference materials such as gazetteers. The Map Collection is a full Federal Depository Library and the majority of our maps are acquired through the Federal Depository Library Program.

The University of Colorado Boulder is the regional depository for the state of Colorado. The Map Collection houses the maps received through the Federal Depository Library Program from agencies such as USGS, BLM, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Transportation, NGA (formerly NIMA, DMA, and AMS) and CIA.

The Map Collection also contains Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Colorado, historical aerial photographs of Colorado, mining maps of Colorado and Colorado historical maps.

U.S. Geological Survey Maps

We own the entire U.S. Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographic map series as well as the 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 scale topographic series, and thematic (geologic) maps series. Older editions of USGS topographic and mining area maps (from the 1880s through the 1960s) are also available for all states. 

Subject Areas

The Map Collection covers a broad range of subject areas, including geography, geology, history, architecture/urban planning, environmental studies, genealogy, travel and recreation.

Access to the Map Collection

The Map Collection is only partially cataloged; approximately 85% of the maps can be accessed through the Libraries' catalog. Uncataloged maps are arranged by geographic area in the Earth Sciences and Map Library and can be browsed. Begin searching in Chinook and if you don’t find what you need, please contact us via email at Most of the maps in the Map Collection can be checked out.

Circulation Policy

Maps and books can be checked out for 14 days (except fragile or rare maps and reference books, which don’t circulate).