Whether you are looking for the most up-to-date geospatial information or a unique visual aid for a history presentation, the University of Idaho Library Cartographic Collections have a number of resources for you to use! The Map Room is located in room 107 on the Library’s first floor.

Please contact Government Documents Librarian Rami Attebury if you have questions about print maps or the Map Room–or GIS Librarian Bruce Godfrey for questions about digital maps and Geographic Information Services (GIS). You can also always ask Reference Services!

Map Resources

The U of I Library has many types of maps and atlases available for use which can be found by using the library’s catalog. Using an advanced search will allow you to limit your results to maps.

However, not all maps at the U of I Library have been cataloged. A paper index located in the map room can help find additional items. If you have a specific geographic area or topic, the paper index can point you to the drawers where those maps are located. Just ask a reference librarian if you have questions about using the index.

In addition to the large print map collection, many digital map resources are made available through Digital Initiatives and Inside Idaho. Many of our digital collections feature maps to explore geolocated items or contain digitized archival maps as part of their content, such as the Idaho Historical Maps Collection.

Topographic Maps

Topographic maps depict both natural and man-made features with contour lines representing elevation. These maps are often used to plan outdoor recreation routes as they offer information about the terrain of an area.

You can download United States Geological Service topo maps free of charge at The National Map (also see other USGS options) or using Inside Idaho’s Idaho Historical Topographic Maps Explorer.

Aerial Photographs

The U of I Library has a large collection of historical aerial photographs focused on coverage of Idaho. Print photographs are located in the Map Room. Many images have been digitized and can be discovered through the Idaho Historical Aerial Photographs collection and Inside Idaho’s Idaho Aerial Imagery Explorer.


INSIDE Idaho is the official geospatial data clearinghouse for the State of Idaho. INSIDE Idaho serves as a comprehensive geospatial data digital library, providing access to, and a context within which to use, geospatial data and information by, for, and about Idaho.