KSU Collections—Map Library

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McGilvrey Hall 

If you want to find out where to land a lunar module, which households in southwestern Finland were dependent on fishing in 1945, or what types of soil are in Portage County, you could search the internet—but it might be easier (and more fun) to explore Kent State’s Map Library.

It’s the center for cartographic and geospatial resources that students, faculty and community members use for research, education and recreation. Housing more than 270,000 maps, 2,000 atlases, 350 gazetteers, 500 reference books, and various CD-ROMs, the Map Library has international reference materials in paper and electronic formats. (See a sampling of its resources below.)

Located on the fourth floor of McGilvrey Hall, the collection is close to the geology and geography departments that often use it—and is so heavy the floor had to be reinforced to hold its weight. The library includes GIS (geographic information system) data and a workstation with ArcGIS software, plus scanning and printing services.

Part of the Federal Depository Library program, it receives recently published maps of the United States Geological Survey and other United States government agencies. 

The library traces its official beginning to 1945, when it was approved as a depository for more than 25,000 publications, maps, pamphlets and other property of the Army Map Service.

To expand the collection, Ed Hall (who came to Kent State in 1973 and retired as map librarian in 1995) traded duplicate maps with other cities and libraries. When the Library of Congress needed to find space, Hall obtained their original duplicates of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Ohio, 1884 to 1954.

The historic maps give a unique glimpse into how cities develop and are used by architects, planners and historians, among others, says current map librarian, Michael Hawkins. “We have the largest and most complete set of Ohio maps outside the Library of Congress.”

Learn more at www.library.kent.edu/map-library. To ask questions or make an appointment, call 330-672-2017 or email map librarian Michael Hawkins at mhawki11@kent.edu.

(Click each thumbnail to open the full map in a new window)

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1884

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1884
Street plan and buildings in the vicinity of Water and Main streets, Kent, Ohio


Chicago Sectional Aeronautic Chart, 1982

Chicago Sectional Aeronautic Chart, 1982
Urban areas, radio towers and classifications of air space for pilot navigation


Senzaki Geological Survey of Japan, 2005

Senzaki Geological Survey of Japan, 2005
Data compiled in geological surveys from 1988-1992, 2001-2002


Atlas of the Archipelago of Southwestern Finland, 1960

Atlas of the Archipelago of Southwestern Finland, 1960
Information on the area’s fishing, mineral resources, industry and handicraft


Ohio Department of Highways Map, 1966

Ohio Department of Highways Map, 1966
Tourist spots, historical sites, wildlife and recreation areas accessible by car


County Map of Ohio, 1838

County Map of Ohio, 1838
Counties in Ohio during the early 1800s


General Soil Map of Portage County Ohio, 1972

General Soil Map of Portage County Ohio, 1972
Different kinds of soil in Portage County


Lunar Plastic Relief Map, 1961

Lunar Plastic Relief Map, 1961
Topography of the lunar surface of Mare Nectaris and vicinity


U.S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau Map, 1913

U.S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau Map, 1913
National wind and barometer indications for Thursday, January 2, 1913; forecast for Cleveland

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