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U.S. Federal Documents

Northwestern University Libraries have been a U.S. Federal Depository Library since 1876. Our collection includes materials in paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, DVD formats and online formats. This guide is based on a similar guide by Kelly Smith at UCSD.

USGS Topographic Maps @ NUL

NUL has an extensive collection of USGS topographic maps.  For Illinois and the continguous midwestern states we have maps at 1:24,000 scale in paper format.  For all fifty states and US territories in paper format and in a variety of scales (1:100,100; 1:250,000).  Older editions of topographic maps for Illinois are retained, providing valuable information about changes in land use and settlement patterns.

USGS ceased updating paper topographic map in the early 2000s, instead focusing effort on creating and updating the online edition of topographic maps linked below along with geospatial data for analysis using GIS software.  USGS will print paper maps on demand for a fee. NUL and other libraries retain paper copies of topographic maps which are valuable for a variety of uses.

Maps are available in the University Library Lower Level, Room B190. This area is not staffed and all map cases are locked.  Contact to make an appointment to locate and view maps.


A gazetteer is a dictionary of place names, often identifying the correct spelling, the type of place (is it a lake, a town or an airport, for example) and the location (within what country, latitude/longitude coordinates, etc.).   

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