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Maps FAQ


The Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) Map Collection website is archived as of 2021 and is no longer being updated. Links to external sites may no longer work as expected. Please visit the Texas GeoData portal and Collections portal for map files.


Are the maps copyrighted?

About these Images

Where are the rest of your maps?

Why are some of your maps so old?

Where can I buy these maps?

Where can I find a map of ... on the Internet?


Are the maps copyrighted? 
Most of the maps scanned by the University of Texas Libraries and served from this website are in the public domain. No permissions are needed to copy them. You may download them and use them as you wish. We appreciate credit to "University of Texas Libraries" as the source of the scanned images. 
A few maps are copyrighted and are clearly marked as such. Any that are copyrighted by The University of Texas are subject to our Materials Usage Guidelines. The U.S. Government may claim copyright outside of the U.S. for maps such as nautical and aeronautical charts. We recommend that those wanting to republish these maps outside the U.S. should contact their publishers. 
A few maps include the official seal of a U.S. Government agency. Federal law prohibits the use of these seals in connection with any merchandise, impersonation, solicitation, or commercial activity in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such use is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the agency. 
We do appreciate hearing from you about your uses of these materials and we would also appreciate your giving this site credit when it is referred to in anything you publish. Other sites may link to our site or to individual maps without our permission. 
Other map-related websites we link to are frequently protected by copyright. Contact them for information about their usage policies.

Please Note: Maps on other websites which we link to are subject to the copyright restrictions of those sites. Please contact them for their copyright information. If you are uncertain whether a particular map is on our site or another site look at the URL. If, when viewing the map, it begins with "" then it is on our server.

Where are the rest of your maps? 
Only part of our printed map collection has been scanned and made available on the Web. Currently, this amounts to 70,000 map images compared to the 250,000 maps in our printed collection. Because we have very limited staff, we are unable to scan maps for individual users' requests. However, we would like to know what maps you are interested in seeing on our site and will take this into account as we have time to scan additional maps. Please note that we are unable to scan copyrighted maps.

Why are some of your maps so old? 
This site acts as a historical collection as well as a current collection. For example, we archive multiple editions of maps published by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. These older editions are of interest to researchers and are not available anywhere else online.
We provide new non-copyrighted maps as they are made available to us, primarily by the U.S. Government. This is a non-commercial site which is dependent upon the availability of non-copyrighted material for our electronic map collection. Sometimes only older maps are available for a particular place. Because our maps are non-copyrighted, users may download our maps and use them as the basis for revised maps. Please let us know if you know of other non-copyrighted maps for us to add to our site. We also link to other sites from our "Other Map-Related Sites" pages. Please also let us know of other Web sites you would like us to link to.

Where can I buy these maps? 
We are a university library map collection and do not sell maps.

For maps published by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The CIA Maps Catalog is available online.

Maps published by the National Park Service may be obtained by contacting the parks. The National Park Service website gives contact information for each park.

U. S. Geological Survey topographic and other maps may be purchased from U.S.G.S. and commercial map dealers. See the USGS Store.

Additional sources for maps may be found on the Where to Buy Maps page.

In some cases, your local library will be able to borrow maps for you from other libraries. Contact them for information on that service.

Where can I find a map of ... on the Internet? 
Look through our Other Map-Related Sites pages for the maps you need. We also recommend using Internet Search Engines to locate additional maps. We find Google Image Search and Yahoo Image Search to be very effective. For example, you might use the words "map" or "maps" as part of your search, or the equivalent foreign language terms, along with the place name or keyword you are looking for. Due to limited staff, we regret that we are unable to reply to e-mail requests to locate specific maps on the Internet. The following are links to the sites we most frequently refer users to:

Find location on a map:

Find the distance between two cities:

Find a topographic map:

Find the location of historical places:

Find quick country and state facts:

About these Images: 
Maps on this server are presented as they were originally published. The original publisher/source and the date of the maps are provided on our web pages. The University of Texas Libraries makes no warranties or representations regarding the timeliness or geographic accuracy of any map in this collection.

Over the years, the approach to scanning for the Map Collection site has evolved. Our earliest scans were on an Apple Color One Scanner. Later, we used a Microtek Scan Maker 9800 XL on a Macintosh G4. In the early years of the site, we scanned maps at 150 to 200 dpi. Currently, we usually scan items at a minimum of 400 dpi. Depending on the content/size/smallest detail of the map we will increase that up 800 dpi and on occasion resolution is decreased down to 200 dpi for less detailed maps.

Our website includes links to many other websites. These links do not imply the endorsement or approval of the content of the sites. The University of Texas Libraries is not responsible for the content of other sites.


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Katherine Strickland
PCL 1.306A

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.