Skip to Main Content

Cartographic Resources, Maps, and Spatial Data

Adapted with permission from Mary Prophet's guide (Denison Libraries).

Welcome, researchers!

Maps, remote sensing images, and spatial data record the locations of things and support many kinds of research.  This guide provides information on resources for cartographic resources, maps, spatial data and geographic information systems (GIS).  Click on the tabs to the left to explore content available through the University of Delaware Library.

This 1906 Delaware-Maryland-New Jersey Dover Quadrangle, reprinted in 1915, is part of the Historic Map Collection in the Special Collections Department.

Locating Maps

FDLP logoThe University of Delaware Library has been Congressionally designated as a depository library in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since June 30, 1897.  In addition, the Library was a depository for the U.S. Geological Survey Depository Program until it merged with the FDLP.  These programs insure that the American public is informed about the activities of the government by distributing materials published by the federal government to institutions free of charge. In return those institutions promise to house materials and provide the staff necessary for the students, faculty, and general public to use these materials.  Under these programs, the Library received Geological Survey topographical maps in the 15 minute and the 7.5 minute series.  These series divide the country into units sized in 15 and 7.5 minutes of longitude and latitude and show topography and structures.  (A minute is 1/60th of a degree of longitude or latitude.)

In addition to the printed topographic maps of Delaware and surrounding states, the federal government produces nautical charts to support commerce, and an enormous number maps on diverse topics ranging from agricultural climate zones to flood insurance maps, to weather maps.  Many of these are available online through DELCAT Discovery, and in the Collections Online section of this resource guide.

Located on the Lower Level of the Hugh M. Morris Library, the Maps Collection is the largest federal depository map collection in the State of Delaware.  The Library's Maps Collection includes printed topographic maps for the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  The topographic quadrangles are cataloged by state and filed in the drawers alphabetically by state and quadrangle name. Maps may be found in DELCAT Discovery.  In addition to the maps in this collection, some historical maps of Delaware are included in the Library's Special Collections.

In addition to printed maps in the Library, DELCAT Discovery also contain records which allow access to a growing number of electronic maps.