Harvard 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 Harvard Map Collection include MLE 2018, Using Data for Decision-making and Improvement in Higher Education and Cartography and Early Modern Literature.



Staff Services

  • Pre-class appointment for instructor (required for first time requester, recommended for everyone)
  • Bibliography of materials used in class
  • Introduction to Archives and Special Collections Research
  • Tour
  • Assistance with presentation of materials in class
  • Assistance with selection of materials
  • Pre-class planning appointment
  • Reserve class materials for Reading Room Use

Technology Available


Administrative Information

  Class limit: 15

The Harvard 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.