Map Collection

Main Library
Louis Stokes Wing
6th Floor
525 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Contact: Lisa Sanchez

About the Department

Map Collection’s holdings are worldwide in scope and include a variety of formats from sheet maps, charts, relief maps, atlases, gazetteers and globes. Beginning with a donation of 122 maps by Library trustee John G. White in 1884, the collection has grown to over 161,000 maps and 6,000 volumes.

Some of our collection has been digitized and is available to view online at our Digital Gallery .

The Collection

Atlases and Reference Books

Map Collection houses more than 3,000 atlases, ranging from road and street atlases to national, historical and thematic atlases. Map Collection owns atlases of all 88 Ohio counties in paper and in microfilm format. Time periods range from the early 1800’s to 1930’s and many of the atlases include histories and beautiful woodcut images from the time periods. A large collection of reference books documents the science of map making and the history of cartography. Price guides and reference books on map collecting assist the amateur or professional.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

The first City of Cleveland Sanborn Maps were published in 1874 and the last in 1973. Cleveland Public Library Map Collection owns copies of Cleveland and all cities and villages of Ohio surveyed by the Sanborn Company either on microfilm, paper or, a combination of both.

Cuyahoga County G.M. Hopkins Plat Books

G.M. Hopkins Company of Philadelphia published hundreds of county atlases and wall maps for parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New England, New Jersey and Ohio from the mid 1800’s to the 1950’s. These atlas/plat books depict large scale plates showing block numbers, lot dimensions, street widths, and names of property owners. These plat books were maintained and updated by city departments to show new annexes, streets and development.

Atlases of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County

Included are an 1881 atlas for the city of Cleveland, 1892 and 1898 atlases that cover most of Cuyahoga County and the county “gem” from 1874, with superb engravings of residences, hotels, stores and landmarks. A 1903 atlas covers Cuyahoga County but excludes Cleveland.

Gazetteers and Map Indexes

Map Collection houses an extensive collection of more than 600 Gazetteers and map indexes that can aid in pinpointing places throughout the world by longitude and latitude. Historical gazetteers can assist in tracing place name changes despite shifting borders, government jurisdictions and population movements.

Sheet Maps

Map Collection owns more than 161,000 sheet maps. Over half are topographical maps of the United States at the 1:24,000, 1:62,000, 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 scales. The historical map series on microfiche includes Ward Maps of U.S. Cities pre-1900.

Ward Maps of Cleveland and various Suburbs

Excellent for genealogical research.

Reproductions of British Ordnance Survey Maps

Published in book format, this set reproduces the first significant national mapping of England and Wales, and pinpoints many small villages, estates and county homes.

Depository Collections

Map Collection is a depository with the U.S. Government Printing Office. Print and electronic resources received are from the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Census, National Aeronautic and Space Administration and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

AMS (Army Map Service) Maps

A predecessor of today’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the Army Map Service produced thousands of maps on a worldwide basis. Map Collection houses hundreds of these “AMS” sets mostly of European countries, 1930’s through the 1950’s.

Environmental Maps

A comprehensive collection of maps from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, notably the Division of Geological Survey, covers Ohio’s 88 counties. Northeast Ohio is depicted in depth, showing geology, wetlands, groundwater, drainage, soils, oil and gas wells, erosion, etc.