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Tobin Map Collection

Tobin Map Collection

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The Tobin Map International Geological Collection of the Walter Geology Library consists of more than 47,000 maps and map texts arranged geographically, following the general outline of the Library of Congress G (Geography) classification schedule.

The collection aims for worldwide coverage of maps on geology and related subjects, but is particularly strong in maps of Texas and select U.S. and foreign areas of geologic interest. With the Map Room of the Perry-Castañeda Library, it serves as a federal map depository for U.S. Geological Survey maps, having an almost complete set of the series maps published by this agency. We also have a map scanner at located at a computer station and a drafting table located in the map room.


1. Keyword search in Library Catalog to find a call number.

Ex: [name of area] geolog* maps

This will bring up geologic maps of that area, as well as geology books and other publications in the stacks which contain maps. Some series maps in the file cabinets are arranged in numerical order regardless of subject, like the USGS series maps, and are best searched in the catalog first to get the call number.

Ex: [name of area] ; then limit results by Resource Type "Maps" in left menu

This will find only print maps, but exclude books and other publications that may contain maps.  It's a more precise search if you're only looking for flat maps in the collection.

2. Keyword search in GeoRef to find a citation.

Like the catalog, the GeoRef database can be useful in finding publications about the geology of a specific area, which may or may not contain maps. In most cases, the UT catalog records will be easier to use in that they show maps in the "description" area of a record.

3. Browse the map section.

A. In flat map drawers by geographic area. Maps of a given area may be in the flat map drawers, or in the filing cabinets. For browsing a given area, the flat map drawers are best because each drawer has a drawer list showing contents, which is kept on top of the maps.

B. In the Geologic Atlas of Texas 1:250,000 in filing cabinets. The Bureau of Economic Geology's Geologic Atlas of Texas 1:250,000 set, in the distinctive orange envelopes, located in the Texas filing cabinets (little orange envelopes on the drawers) Immediately following the Atlas is the Bureau's GQ- series of (mostly older) geology maps of smaller areas of Texas, with drawers marked by a little brown envelope. There is a list of the GQ- series titles at the beginning of the drawer.

C. In the U.S. filing cabinets under G 3701 C5 svar (name of state). At the beginning of the U.S. filing cabinets are paper map indexes. Indexes to geologic mapping for each state are found under the call no. G 3701 C5 svar (name of state) They are pretty much out of date (latest 1980's) but can be useful in locating maps of a given area.

D. In the Austin, Texas topographic map drawer. Sheets are arranged alphabetically by title (quadrangle name), regardless of scale. A full collection of United States topographic maps is located at the PCL.

4. Remove map(s) from the flat map drawers.

Pull the drawer out to its fullest extent, and if the desired map is close to the top of the stack, roll back the upper maps and remove it. If it is close to the bottom of the drawer, particularly if the drawer is heavily loaded, remove the maps on top in small batches, stacking each batch crosswise to the one below, so that when they are refilled, they will be in call number order.

5. Consult with Geology Library staff for further assistance.

Pointers to print map collections, online resources, and GIS data that are curated at the university, city, and state level.

Other Austin Sources

Texas State Agencies

Tobin Support

Tobin Fund bookplateEstablished in 1980 by Tobin Research of San Antonio, the Tobin Fund provides all materials funds for the Geology Library map collection. All other materials are received through depository or exchange programs. The Tobin Fund has permitted the Geology Library to acquire some outstanding map materials and atlases. Investment proceeds from the endowment also support student assistants to catalog most of the collection. Investment proceeds from the endowment have also been used to support the purchase of equipment, furniture, and supplies for the Map Room.

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