What is an atlas? An atlas (another source of information if you are using maps to research or study a particular place) is a collection of various maps, typically of Earth or a region of earth, but there are atlases of the planets in the solar system, and atlases of anatomy. Traditionally bound into book form, many forms of atlases can also be accessed online, and the maps can show not only geographic features, but can also be on subject matter dealing with the environment, politics, religions, economic and social statistics, and historical events. There are also road maps, digital maps, fire insurance maps, tourist maps, zoning maps, pictorial maps, and oceanography maps.
While we have a variety of atlases around the library, pages in this guide focus on the maps housed in on the first floor reference area and atlas cases directly behind the reference books. The page on this guide called Map Room will have more information about the room downstairs in the basement that houses a substantial number of actual maps which can be checked out.