WWW-Virtual Library: History
Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject

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Map History

Searching for Cartographic Materials
in the Library of Congress Catalog

(a note prepared by the staff of the Geography and Maps Division for the 'Map History' site, January 2000)

NB. The Library of Congress online catalog includes records for only those cartographic materials cataloged since 1968. Consequently, many of the older, historical materials in the collection are not included in the database.

To limit your search to cartographic materials:-

1. Click successively:-

  • 'Use the Online Catalog'
  • 'Set Search Limits'

    2. That allows further choices:-

  • 'Type of Material'
  • Cartographic material
  • Cartographic material (manuscript)
  • 'Collection Location'

  • Geography & Map
  • Geography & Map Reference
  • [You may limit your search by one (or a combination) of these four categories. After selecting the limits for your search, click 'Set Search Limits.']

    3. You are now ready to perform your search. Select one search method from the button bar at the top of the screen: Keyword, Subject-name-title-call number, Guided keyword, or Command keyword.

    • We recommend 'subject-name-title-call number' if you know the exact left to right sequence of the subject, name, or title of the work in which you are interested. First select the appropriate type of search, i.e. subject, name, title, serial title, or call number, and then enter your search in the search box and click on 'search'.

    • Otherwise, we recommend a 'guided keyword search', where you can build a request that crosses several cataloging fields, selecting and combining such elements as name, title, subject, notes, etc. Enter search in box and select appropriate categories from pull down selections. Click on 'search'.

    Selecting various search limits may produce different results. For example, searches for maps associated with George Washington produce the following results. Using a 'guided keyword' search, specifying "Washington, George," "as a phrase", and "Name: Personal Name" produced 38 hits when the search was limited to "cartographic materials", 9 hits when limited to "cartographic materials (manuscript)," 48 hits when limited to "Geography and Map Division", and 47 hits when the three categories were combined.

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