Frequently Requested Materials


Topographic maps

We have an extensive collection of United States Geological Survey 7.5 Minute Topographic Series (1:24,000 scale).  We also have topographic maps at 1:50,000, 1:100,000, and 1:250,000 scale for many parts of the United States.  Our topographic maps cover various years, some going back to the 19th century.  The 7.5-minute map series was officially completed in 1992, and the program has recently been replaced by The National Map. Topographic maps from the 7.5-minute program, as well as various derived products, are available for sale from USGS.

The collection also includes topographic maps from numerous countries and regions around the world. 


We have street maps for cites and regions locally and around the world.  We also have maps and guides of the US National Parks.  The travel guide books, including those from Lonely Planet, Fodor's and other publishers, were recently move to the general collections.  They can be found in LibCat by searching the place of interest with the keyword "description and travel guidebooks."

Soil Surveys

We hold the library’s copies of the county soil surveys published by the Department of Agriculture.  Some are also available online,

General Reference Resources

We maintain a significant reference collection containing items such as, The New Handbook of Texas, Texas Almanac, Texas Gazetteer, National Gazetteer of the United States, Omni Gazetteer, Guide to USGS Publications, the World Almanac, and the Statistical Abstract of the U.S.  We also have many GIS manuals and books from ESRI.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps

These include Texas communities that are in the Flood Insurance Program.  Some are available online

Aerial Photography


We have a collection of modern and historical aerial photographs of the Brazos County area. Aerials at 1:2000 scale include the years 1940, 1977, 1982, 1988, and 1994.  We also have recent satellite imagry of the county.  View the Historic 1940's Aerials of Brazos County online.


We have a substantial collection of national atlases from all over the world.  We also have special themed atlases including those on social, environmental, physical and military topics.   Great online atlases can be found at National Geographic’s MapMachine and the National Atlas.

Base/Outline Maps

We hold the Facts on File’s Historical Maps on File and Geography on File, both of which are freely available to photocopy.   Printable outline maps of the US can be found at National Atlas.  More outline maps of the world and US can be found at

Geological Maps

The collection contains geologic maps on every state, and most countries, with extensive coverage of Texas.  Also, we hold maps from many state geologic surveys.   The library holds the complete run of the Geologic Atlas of the United States, created by the USGS during the late 19th and middle 20th centuries. This set consists of 227 folio volumes, each including topographic and geologic maps and sections of selected geographic areas in the United States, together with a descriptive text, charts and photographs.  Digitized copies are available in the library's repository.

The library contains the complete set of the Geologic Atlas of Texas in paper.  The digital version was created by the Texas Water Development Board, Groundwater Resources Division.  

Historical Maps

We have both originals and reproductions of historic maps representing Texas, the United States and the world. Among our reprint collections are maps from the Historic Urban Plans collection.  To find these maps in the catalog, search Historic Urban Plans (Firm).  You may also view historic maps online at the Library of Congress’ American Memory.

Nautical/Aeronautical/Celestial Charts

We collect the following government produced series: TPC (Tactical Pilotage Charts); ONC (Operational Navigational Charts); GNC (Global Navigational Charts) and Sectional Aeronautical Charts.  We also have a number of world nautical charts and celestial charts.

Place Names & Gazetteers


We hold gazetteers of place names approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.  Also, see the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) on the web for place names within the US and its territories.  Information about foreign geographic feature names can be obtained from the GEOnet Names Server (GNS).

Road Maps

We have road maps of all states and major cities, as well as many smaller cities and towns in the US.  We also have road maps of many foreign countries. 

Thematic Maps and Atlases

Among the many topics covered by maps and atlases in our collection are on social or demographic topics, ecology, land use, climate data, and economic data.