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Historical Map Collections

Finding Materials

Materials in RBSC are most frequently arranged according to their subject matter, source, and document type and size; maps, books, A/V materials, framed artwork and archives are usually all kept in different locations. This means that collections are sometimes split up or rearranged. Collections that were acquired by RBSC at different times when standards varied may or may not be catalogued in such a way that is easy to "collocate" collections. There are a few strategies that can be used in order to get an idea of the entirety of many of our collections.

The resources below have been created specifically for RBSC's historical map collections. To learn more about finding and using materials at RBSC, see this guide.

Search the Catalogue

You can search the online UBC Library catalogue by keyword or subject. To find maps, enter your search term in the search bar and limit 'Type' to 'Map'. To find the maps located only at RBSC, limit 'Location' to 'Rare Books & Special Collections'. 

Some of our maps might be tricky to find, and may not be included in the online catalogue. If you have any trouble, please contact Chelsea Shriver at or 604 822-0645.

Author search, series search, and other strategies

Call Numbers

Use these call numbers to browse the UBC Library Catalogue for materials

GA 139.5: Multimedia cartography

GA 197.5-198: Cartographers

GA 201: History of Cartography


Search for RBSC's archival holdings in Access to Memory (AtoM). This web applications does not often have digitized materials (there are a few exceptions) but rather features written descriptions of our archival materials. To find digitized materials try searching our Open Collections (above). After reviewing descriptions, you may wish to view the archives themselves. Take note of the "Reference Number" to help us find it for you ( an example is outlined in red below).

AtoM Search diagram

Searching for materials

AtoM Search diagram

Using the left pane to navigate a description

AtoM Search diagram