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Finding aids for maps: Series mapping and graphic indexes

Topographic series mapping for a whole country

Most detailed mapping is produced as a series of maps covering the whole country. This can be hard to find on the catalogue as it will be listed by the name of the country. So if you want a map of a village in Ghana, it's best to search under Ghana, not under the name of the village. This is a really common problem with searching for detailed maps. Once you find a series, you might need to use a graphic index to find the right sheet - see the box on the right.

Baffled? Contact the Map Room staff.

Graphic indexes

If you're looking for detailed topographic maps, the catalogue record for the series might cover dozens or even hundreds of individual sheets. Once you have found a series of maps that should cover the place you're looking for, it will often save time if you can identify the right sheet.

If you're looking for modern maps, there will often be a graphic index available on the publisher's website. In many cases this will be a national mapping agency such as the Ordnance Survey. If you're looking for older mapping it's likely to be harder to find an index online, but it's sometimes possible.

The Map Room has a large collection of graphic indexes on paper, which staff can use to help identify the correct sheet. 

If you don't know which sheet you need, don't worry - you can order the whole series via SOLO. If there are too many maps to deliver, staff will contact you to find out exactly what you need.

 index extract