Library:HSS Maps Atlases

From UBC Wiki


The Map & Atlas Collection's services and more heavily-used collections are located on the second floor of Koerner Library. Less frequently used materials are kept in a storage facility.

The map collection includes:


  • Topographic Map Series: Maps at various scales for most countries of the world
Blue Labels - organized by region, then scale, then sheet number. Indexes to Canada series are on top of the map cabinets.
  • Thematic Maps: Subjects such as geology, soils, forestry, land use, zoning and history
White Labels - newer maps that are in the online catalogue, organized by location, then by subject
Yellow Labels - older maps that are in the card catalogue only, organized by location, then by subject
Filing cabinets - folded maps, including tourist road maps, Land Capability maps and government map series
  • Charts: Canadian nautical and aeronautical charts, plus selected coverage for most of the world
Green Labels - nautical charts organized by collection, then by sheet number
Filing cabinets - folded aeronautical charts


  • "Regular-sized" Atlases: General, international, national, regional, and thematic atlases
Organized by region, then subject
  • Oversized Atlases: Atlases that do not fit with the rest of the atlas collection
Organized by region, then subject


The Map & Atlas Collection is "open access", so you are free to browse for materials on your own, or to ask for staff assistance. Materials are for Library Use Only. Exceptions may be made.

Requests for maps in the storage facility can be made at the Koerner Library Research Commons Desk. Please note that requests can take several days to fulfill.

Find Materials


All of the atlases are listed in the online UBC Library Catalogue. Search the catalogue for the call number of the atlas you want, and note whether it is listed as an Atlas or Oversize.


UBC Library Catalogue
To find maps, you can search the online catalogue. The catalogue contains most of the topographic maps, as well as the newer thematic maps (in drawers with white labels). For maps, you can set the Type or Format to "Map". When you find a map record, get the map's call number, and note whether the format is listed as Topographic, Thematic or Folded. (See the Collections tab for map locations.) Keep in mind that some maps may be in the off-site storage facility and not readily available.

Card Catalogue
Older thematic maps (in drawers with yellow labels) are listed in the card catalogue, located in the drawers against the curved wall near the atlases. There are two ways to access files within the Card Catalogue: Area - Subject (by geographic location) or Subject - Area (by subject). Search either method to obtain a map's call number. Keep in mind that some maps may be in the off-site storage facility and not readily available.

Browse the Collection
You can browse the drawers (see the Collections tab for an explanation of the Map & Atlas Collection layout). Note that maps for a particular region can be found in multiple locations of the collection.

Frequently-Requested Maps

  • GVRD land use maps
624.63 gbb 1965-66 (yellow tags) (Lower Mainland except City of Vancouver)
624.7 gbb 1980-81 (yellow tags) (Greater Vancouver Regional District)
624.7 gbb 1983 (yellow tags) (City of Vancouver)
  • Fire insurance maps
Search the online UBC Library Catalogue for fire insurance map call numbers.
Fire insurance maps are located in Rare Books and Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Historic urban plans
Covers many cities around the world
100a (yellow tags) (alphabetical by city)
  • Vancouver's Old Streams
624.9 cdc Vancouver 1989 v Rev (paper copy)
Digital Versions in Abacus (PDF, KML, Shapefile)


Map Citation Sites

Projection Guide

Map Sources - Municipalities

Outline Maps


For more information, or to get help finding maps, please visit the Research Commons desk on the second floor of Koerner Library.