Map and Geography Library
Map and Geography Library policy calls for staff to retrieve maps for patrons. Excluding large map sets, most maps are cataloged with records in Illinet, the statewide online public access catalog. However, it can be difficult to find maps in the online catalog. Potentially useful maps might belong to map sets, and others might not be cataloged. Therefore, Library staff are always happy to offer assistance in finding maps.
A publicly accessible reference collection including a variety of geographic handbooks, almanacs, geographic dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, gazetteers, finding aids and bibliographies is located in the first room of the Map and Geography Library.
The important geographical indexing and abstracting sources, Geographical Abstracts which has two parts, Human Geography and Physical Geography, and Current Geographical Publications are located in the Reading Room. Other geography-related indexing and abstracting sources, including the electronic version of Geographical Abstracts (GeoBase),are available through the Map and Geography Library's Digital Journals page.
8.5 x 11" base maps which might be useful for illustating papers and presentations are kept in 3-ring binders behind the Circulation Desk. These maps give topographic information, show basic features and international boundaries, and other major features. Base map sets include maps published by the CIA, Facts on File, and World Eagle. Base maps may be borrowed for 15 minutes for photocopying. Potential borrowers need to be aware that the CIA maps will not photocopy clearly in black-and-white on a self-serve copier. CIA base maps are also available through the Web at the University of Texas at Austin Library and the CIA World Factbook.
Background Notes, published by the U.S. State Department, are also kept behind the circulation desk. These concise brochures sum up in a few pages economic, political, cultural, demographic and historical information on countries. For more detail there are many other sources including Country Studies also published by the U.S. State Department. Printed Country Studies are available in the Map and Geography Library and elsewhere in the University Library system; check the online catalog for specific locations. The Library of Congress is making Country Studies available through the web. This is an ongoing project and might not include all desired countries. Some of the countries do not yet include all maps and other graphics that are found in the print versions.
The University Documents Library has a vast selection of digital files and programs. The Documents Library is located on the second floor of the Main Library in the south end of the Reference Library.