The map collection at the DeGolyer consists of about 3,000 maps, dating from the 16th century through the 20th century, with most falling in the pre-1901 period.
While the map collection includes depictions of all areas of the world, the collection is especially strong in maps of North America. The American West (including Mexico) is a particular strength in view of the library's longstanding interest in collecting Western Americana. Represented are the great European mapmakers such as Sanson, DeLisle, and Coronelli, as well as American counterparts such as Tanner, Mitchell, and Colton.
There are online catalog records for the majority of our maps. It should be kept in mind that some of the most important maps in the DeGolyer Library will be found not in the map collection but in printed volumes in the rare book collections. Here one can find significant examples of the mapmaking art, such as a Ptolemy from 1561 and the spectacular Turgot plan of Paris from 1739. Printed atlases and early American maps in books suggest the range of map materials at the DeGolyer, from the depictions of 16th-century explorers to 19th-century county atlases and mugbooks. We also hold an extensive collection of railroad timetables and guide books from the 19th and 20th centuries, many of which include maps. In the ephemera collection, we have hundreds of 20th-century road maps issued by oil companies and state tourist agencies.