The Arthur H. Robinson Map Library is our November Library of the Month! Located in historic Science Hall, and named after UW-Madison Geography professor (you guessed it!) Arthur H. Robinson, the library houses over 275,000 maps, 250,000 aerial photographs, 1000’s of geospatial data files, along with many other great resources.
The Map Library originated in the 1940s as a small collection housing professor Robinson’s detailed (1:50,000 and 1:100,000) topographic maps of Europe developed and utilized during World War II. Among many aspects, these valuable maps helped demarcate international regions at a detailed scale not previously achieved from cartographers in the United States at that time.
The collection grew significantly from the 1950s through the 1970s. In 1980, the library officially opened its doors at its current location in Science Hall and then named after Professor Robinson a short time after, in 1982. Since then, the library has expanded to include a strong collection if contemporary cartographic resources and materials covering local, regional, national, and international areas.
Today, the map library stands as a unit of the Department of Geography and serves a wide-range of users with diverse and dynamic needs. These users include students, faculty, scholars, professionals, genealogists, and children, just to name a few!
Jaime Stoltenberg, the Map & Geospatial Data Librarian, and her team of dedicated student assistants and volunteers, support these dynamic needs by providing excellent patron services through a unique and valuable cartographic collection. This collection includes access to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data covering over 65 Wisconsin Counties and multiple municipalities, which are browsable and requestable through the library’s online Geospatial Archive. Furthermore, collections include an enormous set of Wisconsin aerial photography, along with thousands of maps depicting topography, soil, geology, land-use, population, and an endless array of unique thematic maps.
Given these amazing resources, Jaime and her staff provide reference assistance throughout the day when the library is open. They encourage students, faculty, community members, etc. to utilize the print and digital collections and come in to seek help with projects and research. You can stop by and browse interesting maps, explore photographs, or just say hi!