The U. S. Geological Survey state topographical map series are selected by the Government Documents librarian, in consultation with the Geography and Geology professors. Topo maps are constantly revised and updated by the USGS and other mapping agencies. 


Location: Map Area. Topo maps are filed in drawers by state, then quadrangle name


Government Documents staff and/or students check-in and pre-process the topo maps.  The old map is pulled. Maps are alphabetized by state and quadrangle name.  Maps are processed with ownership stamp, detection strip, and barcode.


Catalog Department procedures


For many years the librarian in charge of maps only sent the Index to be cataloged.  Later,  brief records for individual topo maps were created in the Unicorn system.  After the last depository evaluation, a decision was made to use open-entry records for each state.  At that time the classification number was changed to the hybrid system, as well.  Individual topo maps are added as items to the bibliographic record.  Maps cataloged as separate brief records will be removed as they are replaced by later editions.


Each state series has a separate record.  We currently receive, or will start receiving, two primary

series for each state: 1:24,000 (7.5 minute series) and 1:50,000.   There are also records for other types of maps, such as orthophotomap.


When records were converted to the Voyager system, some changes had to be made.  Voyager limits the number of items that can be attached.  In OPAC, the holdings displayed in order created instead of alphabetical by quad. name.  For easier creation and viewing in Cataloging client, separate holdings records were created for alphabetical arrangements.  Item records had to be re-linked to the appropriate holdings record.

Generally there will be 6 holdings records for the larger series, such as the 7.5 minute series.  For large states, such as California, this will still be cumbersome.  The Unicorn system automatically alphabetized the maps by quadrangle name, but the Voyager system does not.  New Items will have to be re-sequenced after creation.



Indexes: each state has an Index to topographic and other map coverage, classified by Supt. Of Documents number. These are filed by Supt. Of Doc. call number in boxes on top of the map cabinets.  The Documents staff update holdings in these indexes.

Holdings code: GWCD [Map] [Room]

Item type:         Gov Doc-NC

Location:           Maps


Catalogs: each state also has a Catalog of topographic and other published maps, classified by Supt. Of Doc. number.  These are also found on top of the map cabinets.

Holdings code: GWCD [Map] [Room]

Item type:         Gov Doc-NC

Location:           Maps



The maps are assigned a hybrid classification scheme agreed upon by the cataloger, Betsy Griffies, Documents librarian, Michael Aldrich, and Documents staff, Lori Lester.  The basic classification for the state and the cutter for the subject area are used, but the Library of Congreess guidelines for classification construction for remainder of the call number are not followed.                                   

Example: call number for Georgia  7.5 minute topographic series is G3921 .C2 G4 quad. name year

INSTEAD of G3921 .C2 year .G4 quad. name


The Library of Congress classification number is used for each state.  The first cutter depends on the type of map; for example, regular topo maps will be .C2, but orthophotomaps (aerial maps) are .A4

The cutter for the Geological Survey will vary depending on the series:

Cutter                           Series

G4                               1:24,000 (7.5 minute)

G41                             1:50,000

G42                             1:62,500

G43                             1:63,360

G44                             1:125,000

G46                             1:250,000


Processing in Voyager:

1.  Retrieve correct record for the state, type of map, series from the Rolodex

      Ex. Georgia, regular topo map, 7.5 minute series


2.  Decide on correct procedure

A.  No existing older map - create item attached to correct holdings record

                        Statistics: one item added


B.  Old map exists - not in Voyager

                  Create item attached to correct holdings record         

                  Statistics:  Do not count (replacement)

                   Discard old map


C   Old map exists - separate record in Voyager

                  Create item and process as above

                   Statistics: Do not count (replacement)

D.  Old map exists - item record in Voyager attached to serial record

                   Retrieve correct holdings record, retrieve item record

                   Edit item record - change date of quadrangle

       Enter new barcode number.

                   Statistics: Do not count (replacement)        


3.                  Retrieve the correct holdings record (by range of quadrangle names)


4.                  Create the item record (unless situation D above)

Enumeration field: enter quadrangle name and date

Barcode field: Wand in barcode

Copy: 1

Item type: Book

Location:   Maps

Save to database


5.                  Re-sequence the item records attached to holdings record

From Holdings record, retrieve the Item records

New items created appear at the top

Highlight item to move

Select AMove after@ or AMove before@

Arrow down and select item before or after to insert the new one

            When finished, click on "Save" and then "Cancel"


6.                  Processing

Write the call number neatly and legibly in the bottom right corner.

Example: G3931 .C2 G4 quad. name year

Quadrangle names: ignore AThe@, but use foreign language initial articles, such as ALas@

Do not abbreviate names unless they are very long. Do not abbreviate the first word at all.

AMountain@ could be abbreviated to AMtn.@. AMount@ could be abbreviated to AMt.@


If  two states are covered by the map, such as AFL-AL@, underline the state the map should be filed under.


Student assistant


Level One:  Work with 7.5 minute (1:24,000), topographic series for selected states.  If map being replaced has a separate record in the database, they will be given to the Cataloger to deal with.


Level Two:  Extend to other types of topographic map series and to handling the maps being replaced that are in the database.

Maps with separate records in the database - count as one map discarded and one map item discarded.  Count the new map as one map item added.



Brief record created in Unicorn:

            Retrieve the bib, holdings, and item record.

            Delete in reverse order.


OCLC record:

            Retrieve the bib record.

            Write the OCLC number (field 035a) for Cataloger.

            Retrieve the holdings and item records.

            Delete the item, holdings, and bib record.

            Give the map and OCLC number to the Cataloger.