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Maps and Geographic Information Systems

The Maps Unit of Special Collections houses a cartographic materials collection of over 179,000 maps, 2,000 atlases, 150,000 aerial photographs, a small collection of map-related reference books, as well as digital data. The Maps Unit is located within the Special Collections and University Archives Department on the third floor of the Richard J. Daley Library.

To use Maps Unit materials, visit the Ask A Librarian service.  Select “Special Collections and University Archives” in the Subject of your question or comment field and type your research question and list any call numbers of items or collections/boxes/folders you would like to review in the Question or comment field.


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Aerial Photographs
The Maps Unit has one of the most comprehensive and publicly available aerial photograph collections for the City of Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area. The collection primarily documents the Chicago region in the years from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s.


Topographic Maps


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are not housed in the Maps Unit. Sanborns may be viewed online or on Microfilm. The Microforms Section of the library can be found on the 2nd Floor - North of the Daley Library.


Maps Unit

Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library  (MC 234)
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-2742


Reference and Instruction

Copying and Reproductions

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