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The Geography and Map Division is responsible for acquiring the Library's geography and cartographic resources. Geographic and cartographic textual material is selected for the Library's general collections; maps and all other cartographic formats, including digital data, is selected for and maintained in the Geography and Map Division.

The Geography and Map Division seeks to acquire geographic and cartographic materials which make a significant contribution to knowledge. Material is collected on a world-wide basis without regard to time period, language, geographic area, or format. For recent cartography the emphasis is on acquiring the official cartographic publications of U.S. Federal, state, and local mapping agencies, the mapping of American commercial map publishers, and the products of national mapping agencies of other countries. In the collecting of out-of-print or historical materials, the focus is primarily on Americana.

Division's collecting goals include the acquisition of items and collections that:

  • broaden and enhance worldwide geographic and thematic coverage
  • fill identified gaps in existing collections and map series and upgrade the condition and quality
  • document the work of distinguished cartographers and map publishers, particularly American
  • document and illustrate historical events
  • illustrate the purely aesthetic value of cartographic products
  • illustrate the technical process of map making, including the variety of printing techniques
  • document and illustrate developments in thematic cartography
  • document non-Western/non-European cartographic traditions
  • support the collections and reference resource requirements of other areas of the Library.
The Geography and Map Division relies on all the gift, government deposit, exchange, purchase, and transfer sources available to the Library of Congress. In fiscal 1996 the Division acquired over 114,000 items, including 2,499 atlases, 102,567 maps, 16 globes, 5,375 microforms, and 2,552 digital databases and computer files. Examples of items acquired in 1996 include a set of 8,000 sheets of 1:200,000 scale Soviet/Russian mapping; a collection of manuscript material documenting the development of the cerographic or wax engraving process, a map printing technology developed in the United States in the 1830s; a selection of proof sheets of Civil War era newspaper maps; and a complete set of large-scale computer generated maps delineating the final cease-fire lines agreed to at the Bosnia Peace Talks in Dayton, Ohio.

The Geography and Map Division is interested in enhancing its holdings and would like to learn about the availability of both modern as well as historical cartographic and geographic items and collections. Gifts to the Library from individuals, corporations, and other private sources have greatly enhanced the resources of the Library and are always welcome.

For further information about the Geography and Map Division's acquisition program please contact:

Robert Morris
Geography and Map Division
Library of Congress
Telephone: 202-707-8504
FAX: 202-707-8531

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  August 9, 2010
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