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Map collections and resources: Introduction

This library guide will introduce you to Stanford Libraries map collections, services, and related resources.


Map Collections

Stanford has an exceptional collection of maps, which can be viewed both online and in person. The maps are housed in two libraries: the David Rumsey Map Center (DRMC) and Branner Earth Science Library & Map Collections. 

A film roll-style image of several maps from Stanford Libraries collections

The DRMC primarily houses rare maps and those published before 1920; they are non-circulating. 

Branner Library primarily holds maps dating from 1920 to the present, and they circulate, which means you can check them out like a book.

Both libraries are dedicated to scanning maps that are out of copyright and providing free and public access to these high-resolution images.

David Rumsey Map Center at

Green Library

The Mezzanine at

Branner Earth Sciences Library

Image of the David Rumsey Map Center with antiquarian maps displayed on tables Image of the Branner Library map space with lots and lots of globes and maps on top of map cases

The Rumsey Map Center opened in 2016 and houses an expansive collection of rare maps, atlases, globes, and other cartographic materials.

The Center provides large high-resolution touch screens, Oculus Rift headsets, and other equipment to help researchers and visitors investigate (and have fun with!) digital copies along with original maps. If there is a map you would like to see in person, please request it through SearchWorks.

We are open to the public in the afternoon. Come check out our gorgeous maps, interactive technologies, and map exhibitions. The Rumsey Center is located on the fourth floor of the Bing Wing of Green Library. For more information on visiting the Center, please see our library page

The mezzanine is home to the map collections held by Branner Library and can be accessed by the stairs located behind the circulation desk within our library. Approximately half the collection is stored here on campus while the other half is stored in our off-site storage facility.

Our on-site maps are browseable, just as a book shelf is, and we also have many globes, atlases, and even puzzles on-site (because sometimes you just need a break from saving the world).

Our off-site maps are browseable through SearchWorks, where you will also find a widget for requesting to have your desired map(s) brought back to Branner Library for you to view and/or check-out; this request will be completed within 48 hours.