Scope and Content

The American Geographical Society Library (AGSL) Digital Map Collection showcases maps from around the world. The cartography featured in this collection spans the globe from the 15th to 21st centuries, featuring maps held at the American Geographical Society Library. Expansion of this digital collection continues as maps are added on a regular basis into the website for viewing.

The American Geographical Society Library houses one of North America's largest geography and map collections. The Library's former center of operations was in New York City, until it was transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries in 1978. The Society was created in the 1850's in order to collect geographical and statistical information in a library as a collection of maps, charts, and instruments. Currently, the American Geographical Society Library has an extensive collection of worldwide maps, atlases, books, journals, pamphlets, photographs, slides, landsat images, and digital spatial data.

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The Digital Project

The maps were scanned at 300 dpi resolution using a large format scanner Colortrac 4280 in the American Geographical Society Library. Digital master files in the TIFF format serve as a source for JPEG2000 images presented in CONTENTdm software. Users can browse, pan, and zoom into the map files using JPEG2000 high resolution images. The records were built with CONTENTdm digital media management software using Dublin Core metadata.

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Project Staff:
Angie Cope, Cataloging Academic Librarian, American Geographical Society Library, UWM Libraries
Eleanore (Nellie) Bednarek, staff, Digitization Unit, UWM Libraries
Tom Brittnacher, American Geographical Society Library, Digital Spatial Data Librarian, UWM Libraries
Krystyna K. Matusiak, Digital Collections Librarian, UWM Libraries
Joe Tomich, Monographs Department, UWM Libraries

Graduate student assistants:
Alex Dolski and Rick Krause

Metadata Consultant:
Steve Miller, Monographs Department, UWM Libraries

We would also like to acknowledge Athena Baranowski and Rebecca Buchmann, graduate students in UWM English Professional Writing Program, for their contribution to the collection's Web design.

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Copyright and Permissions

The American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection is published by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Copyright © 2006. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

The map images may be copied by individuals or libraries for personal use, research, teaching or any "fair use" as defined by copyright law. Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law.

Permission to reproduce materials in this collection for publication or distribution must be obtained from the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Please see the Permission Form for Reproduction of Materials at:

UWM Libraries
November 2006
Updated: November 28, 2011

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Contact Information

Please send us your comments or suggestions regarding the collection.
Phone: 414-229-2214
Mailing address:
Digitization Unit
UWM Libraries
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PO BOX 604
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604