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Map Collection: Home

Featured Collection

Federal Township Plats of Illinois, 1801-1891 - This database offers full-color images of 3,547 township maps created within the state of Illinois during the nineteenth century. Features included within each six- mile-square are landforms, watercourses, vegetation and topographic elements ranging from roads, farms and settlements to cliffs and natural prairies.

Welcome to the Map Collection

       Located on the southeastern side of the second floor of Founders Memorial Library  is a diverse collection of globes, charts and sheet maps that provides significant research support to a large number of faculty and students in both the hard and social sciences. The beginnings of the map holdings in Founders lie in 1966, when several cartographic collections from the NIU Earth Sciences Department and the University Libraries were combined to create a separate Map Library on the second floor of Davis Hall, now home to the Geography and Geology departments. Prior to this, the University Libraries at NIU had been a federal depository for topographjic sheet maps produced by the U.S. Army Map Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. In the decades that followed, maps and charts from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce , the Interior , the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration , and the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources were added.  Reference works on the history of mapmaking were included to support the work of the Cartographic Laboratory.  By the spring of 2007, the Davis Hall space was at capacity, and the University Libraries entered into discussions with the Departments of Geography and Geology about moving the Map Library into its present space, which was completed in March of 2008. By 2013, the collection numbered over 220,000 maps and 2500 atlases.

Subject Guide

Robert Ridinger
268A Founders Memorial Library, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 6015-2868.