Skip to main content

Wisconsin Geological Survey maps find new home

April 11, 2012

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey is donating more than 1,200 topographic maps to the UW–Madison Robinson Map Library, where they will be available for loan to the public.

Hikers, campers, outdoorsmen, landowners and researchers all use topographic maps-anyone who wants to look at the shape of the land surface and the trails, roads, houses and forests located on it.

Jaime Stoltenberg, map librarian, is delighted to give the survey’s maps a new home, “Some of our circulating copies have gotten pretty worn and there are some holes in our collection. This donation will help us clean up and fill out our collection.”

The survey, part of Cooperative Extension, sells the United States Geological Survey topographic maps of Wisconsin to the public. Staff members also use them in their research, so the survey has maintained a complete archive of the maps, which were created from the early 1900s to the 1950s.

But thanks to digital technology, the maps are now available online at the UW Digital Collection and the USGS website, allowing the survey to reduce its paper files.

The Robinson Map Library already maintains a collection of topographic maps that it loans to library patrons. Among other maps, the collection donated by the survey includes the older “15-minute” maps that cover 15 minutes of longitude and latitude. These maps are prized by historians and genealogists hunting for areas such as old farmsteads or cemeteries.

“Our scientists now routinely use digital versions of these maps for their project work, but the survey still sells the more up-to-date paper copies of the familiar 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps. We are especially pleased to provide the Robinson Map Library with a collection of the older paper maps and know they will be put to good use,” says Jamie Robertson, state geologist and director of the survey.

To visit the Robinson Map Library online, click here.



Tags: gifts, libraries