from AACR2rev)

Cartographic material: Any material representing the whole or part of the earth or any celestial body at any scale. Cartographic materials include two- and three-dimensional maps and plans (including maps of imaginary places); aeronautical, navigational, and celestial charts; atlases; globes; block diagrams; sections; aerial photographs with a cartographic purpose; bird’s eye views, etc,”

Map: A representation, normally to scale and on a flat medium, of a selection of material or abstract features on, or in relation to the surface of the earth or other celestial body.

These instructions cover maps. Atlases have separate procedures.

Did we get what we ordered?

Sometimes we do not have complete information when we order an item. There may be acceptable differences between what we received and what we ordered. If the map’s title is close, the date is within 5 years, and the map is of the same geographic area, we accept the map. Remember to pre-cat search to determine if the map is a duplicate. Often map records do not include the ISBN, and maps from different years may have the same ISBN, so be prepared to use alternate methods of searching. If you have questions, ask your supervisor.


When cataloging non-manuscript maps, globes, atlases, aeronautical charts, celestial charts, remote sensing images, computer generated maps and other cartographic material use the Map record type (e). For digital cartographic material enter computer file characteristics in 006. Remember this record type is also used for published atlases (former practice was to use Book format).

Fixed field

The record type must be e. If it is not correct the record locally.

CrTp (MANDATORY) is used to explain the type of material being cataloged. The code for printed or digital atlases is e. The code for a single map is a.

Relief (Relf) (MANDATORY WHEN APPLICABLE) is coded to show the methodology used to indicate either the elevation above the earth or the depth below See Relief explanation for explanation and examples.

Projection (Proj) (MANDATORY WHEN APPLICABLE) In order to code this field all the main maps must be of one type of projection and that type must be specifically stated in the atlas or on the maps themselves. See Bib Formats

Index (Indx) (MANDATORY WHEN APPLICABLE) indicates whether the item includes a location index or a gazeteer of its own contents. Use code 1 only if a gazeteer or textual place name index exist as part of the atlas or on the map.

coded Physical description field (MANDATORY) see MARC for Coded physical desciption field

007 Physical description -REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE 010 LC Number is MANDATORY IF APPLICABLE 020 ISBN is MANDATORY IF APPLICABLE 034 the Coded Mathematical data is MANDATORY. Is an abbreviated form of the 255 scale. Up to two 034 may be given in a case where all maps are of two different scales. First indicator: type of scale

 0 scale indeterminable/no scale given
 1 single scale
 2 range of scales

Second indicator

|a catagory of scale (MANDATORY) |b ration linear horizontal scale |d-g coordinates of map See [1]

050/090 are MANDATORY IF APPLICABLE 1XX, 7XX Statements of responsibility. (MANDATORY if applicable)

===Map Main entries===

A corporate main entry is acceptable for cartographic material emanating from a corporate body. Consider a work to emanate from a corporate body if it is issued by that body, has been caused to be issued by that body, or if it originated by that body. In the majority of cases maps will be created or caused to be created by a corporate body. When a personal author is given it should be used as the main entry. Look for phrases such as “cartography by” or “drawn by”. If a map was issued by NASA and drawn by Neil Armstrong, the main entry would be under Neil Armstrong, NASA would get an added entry.

Transcribe statements that appear prominently on the item in the form in which they appear. If a single statement names more than three persons or corporate bodies performing the same function omit all but the first. Indicate the omission by a mark of ommission (...) and add et al. In square brackets

If there is more than one statement of responsibility transcribe them in the same order they are on the piece. When a person and a corporate body are involved in the creation of a map and both are prominently stated give preference to the individual, even if he/she is employed by the corporate body.


Maps quite often provide more than one title to choose from; a panel title, a title above the margin and above the ledger. Sometimes the scale is included in the title.

After the title proper include a GMD [cartographic material]

246 Variant titles Mandatory if applicable

Trace the alternate titles in a 246. 246 30 |I Panel title |a Map of Syracuse N.Y.

250 Edition statement Mandatory if applicable.

===255 Mathematical data area. ===(MANDATORY) matches the information in the 034 in a different form. This is a repeatable field.

a Statement of scale: Give the statement of scale expressed as a ratio (1: ) Preceded the ratio by the word Scale. Give the scale even if it was given in the title proper. If the scale on the piece is not expressed as a fraction, put the ratio in square brackets. If no scale is given compute a representative fraction from a bar graph or a grid by comparing a map of known scale. Equivilency or verbal scale statements in the form of 1 inch = x miles are not too difficult to work with using the standard 1 inch to 1 mile which is expressed as the ratio 1:63,360 (there are 63,360 inches in a mile) So enter 63,360 and multiply times the number of miles and you will get the missing number for the ratio. See for a scale calculator. Give the scale in bracket preceded by ca. Scale [ca. 1:63,630] because it was not stated you calculated it!

If the scale is not given you may say Scale not given.

If the scale cannot be determined by any means (pictorial or cartoon maps), give the scale as indeterminable.

If there are multiple maps and differing scales give each a separate scale statement.

If there are more than two scales use the phrase Scales differ.

|b Statement of projection. Give the statement of projection if it is found on the item.

|c Indicate the longitude and latitude covered by the map (west, east, north, south)

260 Publication statement: (MANDATORY)

Give the name of publisher and optionally the distributor. Give date of publication, distribution, etc. “ Prepared for …” may be interpreted as indicating the publisher. The publisher is often the primary author, but in cases where this is not true, it is valuable to create a 7XX for prominent or well known publishers. If in doubt, search the catalog for name of publisher as an added entry.

Map Dates

Map publishers often omit a clear statement of date to disguise the maps age. You may be able to guess at the date through dating illustrations or carefully reading descriptive text. Sometimes instead of lacking dates there may be many dates to choose from. Give priority to a date in the legend or other dates on the map itself rather than the cover date, which might just be the reprint date. Some times date information is coded See which has a link to how to read date codes.

If no publication date, copyright date or printing date is given on the item, a publication date can be inferred from other dates or information appearing on the item. [e.g. title, edition statement, publishers note] An inferred date is enclosed in square brackets.

300 Physical description

Give the extent of the item in |a such as 1 map, 1 atlas (iv, 455 p.)

If there is more than 1 one sheet specify number of sheets: 6 maps on 1 sheet or 1 map on 4 sheets

Acceptable SMDs are as follows: atlas, diagram, globe, map, map section, profile, relief model, remote-sensing image, view.

|b Other physical details. If a map is in color indicate this., give the material out of which the item is made if other than paper.

|c Dimensions height x width. This is the extent of the map itself, within the neat lines where the geographic area is displayed, NOT the size of the sheet. such as 25 x 25 cm., Also may say 31 x 41 on sheet 31 x 71 cm. If the size of the sheet is substantially different than the size of the map.


Nature and scope of item, Contour interval 10 feet, Relief shown by spot heights, contour lines, gradient tints, hachures, shading. Birds-eye view, Cadastral map, Computer generated map, Shows roads, railroads, state lands Language (if not obvious from description) Source of title proper (when taken from outside the chief source of information. Mandatory if applicable) Variations in title Statement of responsibility (not considered formal statements of responsibility) Edition and history Eg Base map supplied by Rand McNally Donor source Reproduction information Mathmatical and other cartographic data. Eg Meridian/Orientation Publication/Distribution (501) Physical description eg Blue line print Accompanying material Contents (505) Includes glossary. Includes key. Maps on verso Numbers/Codes Give important numbers other than ISBN

Subject headings

The first subject heading should always be the one that corresponds to the classification number. Every map of an identifiable place must have a subject heading for that area. A subsidiary map of a town, fort, college, park or airport receives a subject entry, if it is indexed, even for point of interest. For places that have changed names, the current name is used in the subject heading.

Metropolitan area headings are applied to maps that show a city and its suburbs together.

[City] Region headings are applied to maps of areas without distinct boundaries or extent that are focused on a specific city. Such maps are usually not useful as city maps.

[City] Suburban Area headings are applied to maps that show the suburbs and immediately surrounding area of a city, but not the city itself.

                 651  0  Peru |v Maps.

610 Peru |x Photographs from space.

Call numbers

A map of two named areas is classed under the first one named in the title proper. A geographic cutter, usually based on the first filing word in the established form of a place name, is used with classification numbers ending in2 or 7, 3 or 8, 4 or 9. The geographic cutter may be followed by a subject cutter. LC Schedule G table IV lists subject cutters for groups of features.

The date is the date of the situation (the year of the time the map was accurate) rather than the date of publication. Maps may have three cutters. The third cutter follows the date. When the date in the cutter and the date of publication differ, the cataloging record must contain some justification, whether in the title, edition statement, or notes. When the item has a History Subject Cutter the date in the call number is the same as the date of publication, since the history cutter itself suggests a general date of situation.

The call number should be written in pencil on the right hand bottom corner of the map front. It should be written vertically on one line.


There is a separate sheet on locations produced by the Map Librarian. This explains his thinking on what material goes where.

More info in : Cataloging Specific Material types. : Maps and related cartographic resource.

Paige’s book.

LC Map Cataloging manual through Cataloger’s desktop.

Bibliographic formats and standards.