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Historical Maps: Search

Brainstorming Keywords

  • Start with specific geographic keywords and move to more general ones, as needed. For example, start with "Boulder" then move to "Boulder County", "Front Range", or "Colorado" if the previous term doesn't return enough results.
  • Add the words "map" or "atlas" to your search, depending on the format you're interested in.
  • Consider using a gazetteer to determine if a place you are searching for on a map has historically had a different name.
  • Use an asterisk (*) to match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. For example, searching for "histor*" will return results with the words "historic", "historical", and "history".

Using OneSearch

What is OneSearch?

OneSearch includes all of the records in the CU-Boulder catalog, our institutional repository (CU Scholar), most of our digital collections, and most of the articles and databases we subscribe to. You can search OneSearch from the Libraries' website. Because OneSearch allows you to search all formats at once, you will need to limit your results to find maps. Please note that not all of the maps available in the Map Library are cataloged, so not all of them will appear in search results. Contact the Map Library if you want to know what else might be available for your area of interest.

OneSearch facets for finding historical maps

 

Content Type

Use this facet on the results page to limit to maps as a content type. To find this option, click on "More..." at the bottom of the list.Then scroll down to select "Map." Finally, click on the "Apply" button in the top right corner of the pop-out box.

 

Library Location

You can limit your search results to maps available in the Map Library. Click on "More..." at the bottom of the list. Then select "Map Library" and click the "Apply" button in the top right corner of the pop-out box.

 

Wildcards

OneSearch also allows for the use of wildcards:

  • Use an asterisk (*) to match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word. For example, searching for "histor*" will return results with the words "historic", "historical", and "history". 
  • Use a question mark (?) to match any one character. For example, "Ols?n" will return results such as "Olsen", "Olson", or "Olsin". This can be helpful if you're not sure the spelling of a map's creator.

 

Dates

Results in OneSearch may be sorted by publication date. This may be different than the date the map is showing. This is especially true of maps that are reproductions or atlases that contain reproductions.

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