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Maps, Atlases, Aerial Images, and Cartographic Resources

Searching for Maps at the UCLA Library

Please use MapCallFinder for a proper call numbers in map cases located on A-level at the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library.

Many maps can be found in the UCLA Library Catalog. When seeking information that can be supplied from a map, you will need to identify four different aspects:

Geographic coverage:  What area is to be covered by the map?

Scale:  How much detail do you want to appear on the map? The greater the detail the larger the scale, e.g. building footprints of Los Angeles will be found on a large scale map. Small scale maps depict a larger area of the earth's surface but in much less detail, e.g. a road map of the Pacific Northwest.

Date of coverage:  What time period do you want the map to portray?

Subject:  Do you want a general map or one which depicts a specific subject or theme?

In some cases, the map resource you seek might be contained within a book or other work.  The steps below will help search the Library Catalog for single maps, map series, atlases, and works that contain maps.

Locating Maps in the Library

Please note that we do have a large number of uncataloged maps in our collections. If you are not able to find what you need, please contact Research Help 


The term maps can be attached to any keyword or subject heading that has a geographical entity, i.e. maps Ireland, or maps Vienna.

Basic Search, Keyword

Basic Search, Subject List

Subject List Results

Example of a map contained within another work (Search Strategy:maps spain inquisition in keyword)

To search for maps at a specific scale, use the keyword search from the Basic Search Screen

ExampleScaleExample: Germany 1:100,000 in keywords

Atlases are assigned as a subject heading when the work is a geographical atlas of the world published in the United States.

ExampleAtlasKeywordExample: biodiverity atlas in keyword

Note you can add a truncation symbol ? to the word atlas? to search keywords atlas or atlases at the same time.

World atlases published in other countries are entered under Atlases qualified by the adjectival form of the country.

To find historical atlases using the basic search: historical geography (place) maps as a keyword

The Contemporary Vertical File collection can be browsed using the keyword search in Library's Catalog.

Use mapvfcoll