This page offers guidance on how to search for maps in our collection using Library Search, which replaced the Library's main catalogue in October 2018.
You do not have to log in to use Library Search.
But you must be registered as a member of the Library if you want to:
- Request material
- Track your requests
- Save searches
- View your search history
For any of these functions, you can log in using the email address and password set up at registration.
If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it by following the link 'Forgot your password' on the Library Search log in page. You will be asked to enter the email address with which you registered, and we will send a link to this email address that will allow you to create a new password which you will remember.
Search for maps
Library Search has various search functions, including a basic search, an advanced search, browse functions and an A-Z journals list to help you find material.
Everything or Library collections
The default setting of Library Search is to search Everything, which includes Library collections, plus a large number of e-resources, and high quality resources from databases, other libraries and publishers. If you select Library collections, this provides a more focused search of our printed, manuscript and archive, moving image and digital collections.
Basic search for maps
To find a map or atlas you can:
- Enter keywords about the map into the main search box. You could include words from the title, author, publisher, e.g. 'Plan Edinburgh' or 'Atlas Australia'. Entering more keywords will help to focus your search.
- If you know the exact title you are looking for, put this in double quotation marks to focus your search, e.g. "Kay's Plan of Edinburgh".
- Click or tap on the title of an item of interest to see more details about the item.
Advanced Search you can:
- Combine terms for a more specific search, e.g. 'Blaeu' as Author and 'Atlas' as Title. Click or tap Any Field to see available search categories, including Title, Author, and Local Map Geographic Subject.
- Use Local Map Geographic Subject to search by the Country, Region or Town covered by the map, e.g. 'France', 'Yorkshire' or 'London'.
- Search by types of mapping, e.g. railways, geology, land use using Local Map Geographic Subject.
- Use Local Map Geographic Subject to search by format, by entering for example, 'maps' or 'atlases' into this search field.
- Combine terms in the Local Map Geographic Subject field to focus your search, e.g. 'Scotland' and 'railways'.
- Search with the Format field set to 'maps'. If you wish to see all possible cartographic material, however, please be aware that using this field may miss some items. This field is dependent on how maps were catalogued in the past.
Search by Library shelfmark
If you know the Library shelfmark of the map you are looking for, you can:
- Enter the shelfmark — e.g. Maps.s.100.23— into the main search box.
- Click or tap Browse, and then Browse by shelfmark and enter the shelfmark.
Filter your search results
You can use Filter my results to refine your search results. Filters include the following:
- Availability — You can click or tap 'Available in the Library' for physical maps held by the Library. Use 'Full text online' to sort for cartographic material you can view remotely.
- Date — You can filter by a date range, or to find a map printed in a specific year.
- Format — You can restrict the format to 'maps'. If you wish to see all possible cartographic material, however, please be aware that using this field may miss some items. This field is dependent on how maps were catalogued in the past.
Interpret your search results
Each record in the list of search results contains a piece of information telling you more about the item. Examples include the following:
- Multiple versions of this item exist. See all versions. This means there is more than one copy or edition of the item. Click or tap on See all versions to see the individual records for each version of the item.
- Consult in Maps Reading Room — most maps or atlases should be consulted in the Maps Reading Room at Causewayside. Some are held in the Library's general or special collections, and their records will state Consult in General Reading Room or Consult in Special Collections Reading Room. These items will need to be consulted in the reading rooms at George IV Bridge.
- Check holdings. This may indicate that the item exists in more than one part — for example, a journal — and that the parts may be stored separately. It may also indicate that there are different copies of the same item. Before you request this item, you will need to select the relevant holding. You can click or tap each holding to find more information.
- Online access or Full text available. This means the item is available electronically, for example through the digital gallery, electronic legal deposit or the eResources, and therefore you do not need to request it.
To view printed and manuscript maps, please book an appointment at the Maps Reading Room.
If you know which maps you wish to consult during your visit, you can request these in advance using our map request form. Alternatively, staff can advise you on relevant maps for your research during your visit to the Maps Reading Room.