The Library is currently re-organizing its map collections.

The map collection of about 500,000 sheets is principally medium and large-scale topographic sheets of physical science data and specialty mapping.  About 60,000 sheets date from before World War II.  Once maps are requested, they will be made available for use in the Special Research Collections reading room on the 3rd floor of the Mountain Side of the Library.  All requests to use our department's materials will first require a Special Collections Research Account.

Requesting and Using Maps 

  • Most of the map collections are currently stored off-site and require up to 3 business days for retrieval.  
  • To search for maps, use UCSB Library Search.
    • Maps are NOT requestable using UCSB Library Search.  Send a title, call number, and sheet name/number to  special [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu.
    • ​Only 60% of the map collection is cataloged and searchable. 
    • If you don't find the items you're looking for, send an email describing your research needs to the reference staff at special [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu or call 805-893-2779.
      • Often times, there are multiple map resources that can be useful to your research.
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Additional cartographic resources at the UCSB Library:

Upcoming Changes

  • MIL locations in the UCSB Library Search discovery interface will be changed to the Collaboratory and Special Collections to reflect our new organizational structure.
  • Our collection of more than 5,000 atlases and reference books will be split between SRC and open stacks.
  • CD-ROM's and DVD's will be moved behind the main service desk in the Paseo. 

More about the Map Collections

Map Call Numbers

We use our own call number system for maps at the UCSB Library.  An outline of the call number system used in MIL. We also have a guide for reading map call numbers.  Using Library Search, you can browse the cartographic collections by choosing "Browse Search" and changing the "browse by" pull-down menu to "Other call numbers."

Local Maps

A list of maps held in our collection focusing primarily the Goleta and Santa Barbara areas.

USGS Topographic Maps

Information about the California topographic maps held in our collection as well as other sources for these maps can be found here.  All scales and most editions of USGS topographic maps are available online via Topoview (National Geologic Map Database), the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, and the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer (in partnership with Esri).  More about topo maps.

International Topographical Map Indexes

Scanned indexes to the many medium- and large-scale international topographic maps we collect are available at the above link.  We also have a pdf list of foreign topographic maps in our collection.

Geologic Maps

MIL collects geologic maps at a variety of scales.  More about our collection and other resources may be found here.

Access and Use

Our access and use procedures are current in flux.  Please consult the Special Research Collections Policies and Fees page.