Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

University of Guelph Library
Maps and Atlases


The paper map and atlas collections are located on the first floor of McLaughlin Library, and consist of maps, atlases, gazetteers, indexes, cartobibliographies, material accompanying maps, and cartographic journals. Thematic or subject-oriented map coverage is available for most countries. Geographic areas of specialization include Guelph, Southern Ontario, Canada, United States, Europe, and the Far East. Subjects include agriculture, climatology, economics, geology, history, hydrology, land use, population, soils, topography, and transportation. Two special collections are the Canadian Fire Insurance Maps and the Melby Collection of World War II maps for the Pacific area. The Melby Collection is located at the Annex, as are Fire Insurance Maps for provinces except Ontario.

Note: Maps and atlases have been moved to the Government Publications section in the lower level. The floor map found at the web address below shows you where on the floor the maps are located (red box) and the atlases are located near to hand ...


Maps and atlases may be charged out for use during seminars, lectures, or in other special circumstances. The length of loan period (usually the same day) will be governed by individual circumstances. Requests for loans of cartographic material must be made at the Reference desk on the 1st floor during regular reference hours. Maps located in Government Publications are signed out by staff at the Government Publications & Data Resource Centre Reference desk.

Hours of Service

The map collection is accessible whenever the Library is open. Assistance in using cartographic material may be obtained during regular reference hours at the Reference desk on the 1st floor. Note: The Government Documents reference desk has shorter hours than the main reference desk, so people can ask for help from it from 10 - 4:30 Monday to Friday, but if they are coming in at other times, they will have to ask for help from the 1st floor ref desk.

How to Locate Maps in the Collection

Maps can be located through TRELLIS by setting search limits and searching in Title, Author  (i.e. corporate author), Subject, Call Number, or Keyword. Click on “All Search Limits” and select “map” as the medium and/or item type. Click “Set Limits”. Also try “Combining Keywords” using the place name and “map” or “maps”. Maps accompanying government publications are found in the Government Publications Section, not in the map collection (e.g. Soil maps of Ontario which accompany Ontario Soil Survey Reports are in map cabinets in the basement.)


A map series is a specific number of maps for one subject or theme. Maps belonging to a series all have the same call number and can be found in the corresponding drawer, usually by sheet number. For example, in the Canadian National Topographic (NTS) series, a Guelph map at a scale of 1:50,000 is identified as 40P/9 from the index sheet. The sheet number for Canadian topographic maps can also be found using the Gazetteer of Canada. The map is found by looking for the number 40P/9 in the map drawer with the topographic maps at that scale.

Topographic Maps


      1: 50,000                                                                           1st floor            G 3401 C1 1950-

      1: 25,000 (holdings incomplete)                                           1st floor            G 3401 C1 1910-

      1: 125,000 (holdings incomplete)                                          1st floor            G 3401 C1 1914-

      1: 250,000                                                                          1st floor            G 3401 C1 1926-

      1: 500,000 (holdings incomplete)                                          1st floor            G 3401 C1 1931-

United States

      1: 24,000 (holdings incomplete)                                            1st floor            G 3701 C1 1892-

      1: 250,000 (holdings incomplete)                                           1st floor            G 3701 C1 1947-

Great Britain Ordnance Survey                                                                          

      1: 50,000                                                                              1st floor            G 5741 C1 1974-


Bedrock Geology of Ontario. (5 sheets)                                     1st floor            G 3461 C515 1991

Canadian Fire Insurance Maps. (other than Ontario)                    Annex             G 3401 G475 1875-

Canadian Nautical Chart Series.                                               1st floor            G 3401 P512 1908-

Geological Maps Series.                                                           1st floor            G 3461 C5 1891-

Guelph Maps.                                                                            1st floor            G 3464 G84

Ontario Base Maps  1:10,000. (paper & microfiche)                       1st floor            G 3461 A1 1980-

Ontario Fire Insurance Maps. (do not circulate)                          1st floor            G 3401 G475 1875-

Ontario Road Maps.                                                                  1st floor            G 3461 P2

Ontario Soil Survey Maps.                                                         Gov Pubs           CA1 DA39 …..

Ontario White Print County and District Road Map Series.        1st floor            G 3461 P2 1946-

      (shows lot and concession numbers)


      The Government Publications area contains publications from all levels of government; technical, research and annual reports; University of Guelph theses; and publications from international organizations. 


Atlases are also located using the TRELLIS library catalogue. They can be accessed by using the word “atlas” in a Combining Keyword search, or searching in Title, Author, Subject, Call Number, or Keyword. Oversized atlases are located on the atlas stands adjacent to the windows. Regular sized atlases are located on shelves to the left of the map collection. Atlases which are part of Government Publications, e.g. Climatological Atlas of Canada, or the World Bank Atlas are coded and located on the lower level of the McLaughlin Library.

Ontario Atlas Series (MapArt).

Eastern & Northern Ontario. (SocDesk)                               1st floor            G 1147 E38 M36 1999

Golden Horseshoe. (SocDesk)                                           1st floor            G 1147 G65 M36 2001

Western Ontario. (SocDesk)                                              1st floor            G 1147 W47 M36 2001

Oxford Atlas of the World. (Atlasstk)                                1st floor            G 1021 O94 1999

Rand McNally Road Atlas: Canada, United States, Mexico. (SocDesk) 
1st floor G 1201 P2 R347 2000


Gazetteers, cartographic reference material, and material accompanying maps are shelved on the atlas stands. Historical gazetteers, other relevant reference material, and abstracts and indexes are shelved in the Reference section on the 1st floor.

Canadian Fire Insurance Plans in Ontario Collections, 1876-1973.  1st floor      HG 9781 F65

Chambers World Gazetteer . (SocDesk)                            1st floor    Ref   G 103.5 C44 1988

Concise Gazetteer of Canada. (SocDesk)                           1st floor    Ref   CA1 MS11 C15

Fire Insurance Plans in the National Map Collection. (MapRef)    1st floor            CA1 AK40 77F33

Gazetteer of Canada—Ontario. (SocDesk)                                  1st floor    Ref   CA1 MS11 O55

Practical Handbook of Digital Mapping: Terms and Concepts.        1st floor    Ref   GA 139 P73


Atlapedia Online.                                              

Canadian Soil Information System.                  

Canadian Topographic Maps.                          

Geographical Names of Canada.                      

National Atlas of Canada.                                 

National Atlas of the United States.                 

Natural Resources Canada Toporama.             

Official Road Map of Ontario Online.              

Soil Surveys of Ontario by County.

USGS – U.S. Geological Survey.                      

Fabulous collection of old maps here.  I was told that one of the visitors to the collection found a village they had been trying to locate for ages and there were whoops of delight from them at the time. Essentially the village no longer exists but this antiquarian maps resource came up trumps.  So here are some pictures of just a couple of the maps available.

So this is the oldest map of Scotland at the library

And here is another old atlas

I took a few larger scans of a few of the above maps trying to give you a bit more detail

Return to Library Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus