Map Collection

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 Full Fathom Five: Surviving Shipwreck, Then & Now, What is Imperial History? and Advanced Conversational Chinese.



Staff Services

  • Assistance with selection of materials
  • Pre-class planning appointment
  • Reserve class materials for Reading Room Use
  • Ongoing reference assistance for students interested in using collections for course assignments
  • Support for student-led digital curation of exhibits and collections

Technology Available

  • Touchscreen monitor
  • Canvas course librarian

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.