Map Collection

We are offering sessions with our staff and materials remotely throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Our staff can help plan and arrange remote sessions, activities, and access to digitized materials.

The Harvard Map Collection is one of the largest and oldest collections of cartographic materials in the United States. Since its inception almost two centuries ago, the Harvard Map Collection has grown to encompass 400,000 maps, 6,000 atlases, and 5,000 reference books. The library's collections include rare editions of Mercator, Ortelius, and Ptolemaic atlases, as well as detailed city plans, thematic maps, and large-scale topographic surveys of countries throughout the world, ranging from the late 15th century to the present. The Map Collection also maintains significant holdings of digital resources in a variety of formats, including georeferenced historical maps, electronic atlases, and thousands of layers of geospatial data. The library's collections provide access to statistical data from national censuses, local planning agencies, NGOs, and international institutions.

Recent classes at the Map Collection include Ancestry, What is Imperial History and Starstruck! The History, Culture, and Politics of American Astronomy.



Staff Services

  • Assistance with presentation of materials in class
  • Assistance with selection of materials
  • Pre-class planning appointment
  • Asynchronous activity design and monitoring
  • Custom imaging
  • Custom videos of staff interacting with objects
  • Live demos with materials
  • Snail mail experiences with material objects
  • Support for student-led digital curation of exhibits and collections
  • Synchronous discussions and/or breakout room activities

Technology Available


Administrative Information

  Class limit: (none)

The Map Collection does not have a publicly available calendar. When making a request, please submit with your preferred times and a staff member will get back to you.