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HIST 29639: The Cartographic Imagination in America

A guide to library resources for students in Professor Amy Lippert's class (Fall 2014)

Finding Primary Sources in the Catalog

The following terms are found in the subject headings of records for published primary sources.

  • sources
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • interviews
  • personal narratives 
  • pamphlets
  • oral history
  • writings
  • speeches
  • maps
  • early works to 1800

In the Library Catalog:

Use the BROWSE option, select SUBJECT from the drop-down menu.


Select "Advanced Keyword" and select SUBJECT from the drop-down menu.

Sources Published Before 1800

Here are some ways to search for primary sources created before the nineteenth century.

  • Geography -- Textbooks. -- Early works to 1800
  • Geography -- Dictionaries. -- Early works to 1800
  • Indians of North America -- Maps -- Early works to 1800
  • United States -- Description and travel -- Early works to 1800

  • KEYWORD maps AND SUBJECT Color -- Early works to 1800 (for treatises on map production, coloring maps).

Themes and Formats

Thematic Maps

The library holds many types of maps--topographic, military, railroad, urban, land use, ethnographic and linguistic--to name a few. Below are some sample searches, but this list is by no means comprehensive.

[insert place] -- Maps -- Facsimiles
Roads -- United States -- Maps
[insert place]--Aerial views

Chicago (Ill.) -- Zoning Maps

Indians of North America -- Maps
Railroads -- United States -- Maps
United States--Guidebooks

City planning--[insert place]--Maps


Maps are found in many formats, from single sheets to aerial photographs and dynamically-generated tables.  Most of any big library’s maps are found in books and journal articles and are not cataloged separately. There is an index of maps in books and journals, but often it is not very complete.  Subject and author searches are the commonest way to locate maps in books and journals. For example:

Author:  Rand McNally & Company (commercial firm) 

Author: Geological Survey (U.S.)  (government agency)

Subject Guide

Nancy Spiegel's picture
Nancy Spiegel
Bibliographer for Art and Cinema
Bibliographer for History
Regenstein Library Room 463