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RDS@UF: Antique Map Cataloging

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Updated June 2022 by Dave Van Kleeck
Reviewed by Carol McAuliffe


Antique Map Cataloging



Basic Map Cataloging Resources:

Core Aspects of Cataloging Cartographic Resources - Part 1:

Part 2:



SEARCH Connexion and ALMA


  • Search for a copy of map. If the map is exactly the same (including title, author and publication place/date) then UPDATE the holdings in OCLC. Use judgment or ask for advice in revising these records in OCLC or locally, (i.e., if not broken, don’t fix).


  • If search did not hit any results then try to find a record with at least same AUTHOR or TITLE or other relevant info to use as a template and Derive


  • If the search finds a record of the same map from FUG and states NO HOLDINGS it was probably created in error. Upgrade this record and update holdings.


  • Change OWN code to PUBLIC and overlay with OCLC record, carefully retaining any important local information in HOL notes.


INDX: value 0 (zero) if no index; 1 if index present
RELF: input all that may apply: i = pictorial relief; d = hachures; e = fathoms, etc.
Special attention to DTST: value s if single date is given, other values also
Fields 100 and 110 should always be checked with authority file
Statement of responsibility at the end of Field 245 should only be added when it appears on map.
Scale statements follow the same procedure as in any modern map. When scale is calculated, field 255 should show: Scale approximately 1:xxx.xxxx. Provide coordinates from map if supplied and convert to Greenwich; if not available, estimate coordinates by using the bounding box tool online ( A 500 note needs to be added stating the conversion and/or that the coordinates were estimated and derived.


A required 500 note should be the original source or any other publication that may contain copies if the map has been taken from or is part of a book or atlas.

(Ex.: From: Bellin’s Modern Atlas… or Appears in: Ptolemy’s Geographia..”
Add a general note describing the type of work, Copper engraving, steel engraving, hand-colored or any other noted importance of value.
In general, 500 note fields should be in prescribed order and contain information about:

Relief; Watermarks; Index (if present); Prime meridian [if not Greenwich]; (Washington, D.C., Paris, Ferro Is., etc., if applicable); Orientation (only if NORTH is not pointing upwards);

Any information quoted from map that is relevant for description, or explanation;

Any distinctive characteristics of the map such as decorative cartouches, dedicatory, relevant ill., inset maps, or if the map served a specific purpose and this information is printed on the map.


The correct entry for this field should look like this:

510 _ 4   [title of publication or last name of author], ‡c [Ref. number or page]

For a guide on the reference resources at UF Maps Library please see “Working with References” below and libguide “Standard Citations for Map Cataloging”.



FIELDS 651 will express all the same geographic locations described in FIELD(S) 052. In general these fields are not different from the modern map records, except that they usually include the additional form information subheading: v Maps v Early works to 1800.


If the maps cataloged fall in the 19th century (1801 – 1900), use the following 69x fields:

691  9  $$a GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION  $$x Maps $$x Early works to 1801 to 1900.

Note, this field will not retain in OCLC but will export to ALMA.


Please note: We will have an lcgft 655 for Early maps to 1800.

655  7  Early maps.  2 lcgft  (ONLY early maps [to 1800])

Other genre fields may need to be added, such as portolan charts, atlas factice, etc.

655  7  Portolan charts. ‡2 lcgft      

FIELDS 700 and 710

Usually these fields correspond with additional responsible persons as in the 100 and 110. All illustrators, type engravers, engravers, publishers and booksellers need to be traced. Delimiter ǂe is used on these fields with the correct relator terms. In general the line should read:

700_1 Carey, Henry Charles, ‡d 1793-1879, ‡e engraver.

If responsible person is attributed to a related publication and the source is not the manifestation for which the work is attributed to, the line should read:

700 1  NAME OF MAPMAKER, ‡d 1xxx-1xxx. ‡t ATLAS/other PUB. TITLE.

Example: 700_1 Carey, Henry Charles, ‡d 1793-1879 ‡t Complete historical, chronological, and geographical American atlas.

FIELDS 773, 776, and 787

In the case of maps that have been identified as physically detached or separated from their original atlas or other source, the original source of atlas or publication (manifestation) from 500 notes is referenced with a 773 to link the container of manifestation (host item).

773_08 ‡i Container of (manifestation): ‡a Kitchin, Thomas 1718-1784. ‡t New universal atlas. ‡d London : Laurie and Whittle, 1795. ‡w (OCoLC)xxxxxx

For cases concerning another available physical form of the map in hand, use a 776 field.

Antique maps that have been digitized and have electronic format records related to the print record require a linking field 776 added to both the print and electronic format record that is created in OCLC.

776_08 ‡i Online version: ‡a Carey, Henry Charles, 1793-1879 ‡t English pilot. ‡d London : Covens & Mortier, 1899. ‡w (OCoLC)xxxxxx

776_08 ‡i Print version: ‡a Carey, Henry Charles, 1793-1879 ‡t English pilot. ‡d London : Covens & Mortier, 1899. ‡w (OCoLC)xxxxxx

In cases where the relationship is unclear between the map in hand and a source atlas or publication, and in cases where the relationship does not fit any of those defined in fields 760-785, a 787 is added.

787_0_ ‡a France. Depot general de la marine. ‡t Portulan general mer des Antilles et Golfe de Mexico.




DELETE any 926 fields (formerly TKR fields in ALEPH). We no longer need to correct them, such as those including “prov.”



The Holdings Record should be updated immediately after the local OCLC record is saved and ready for review. The general outline is as follows:

852 0_   $$a FUG

              $$b UFMAP

              $$c MAP

              $$h Gxxx.Xxxx 1xxx

              $$i .Xxx CARTA 


              $$x Document rips/tears/repairs and any other distinguishing physical information that would be unique to the item in hand.

              $$x Document presence of property stamp and location (if not encapsulated, stamp)

              $$x Any other pertinent local note.



Make an effort to find map in probable sources. If unsuccessful, do NOT spend more than 30 minutes looking.

 Sources include:

1.            Van der Krog, Peter. KOEMAN’S ATLANTES NEERLANDICI (4 vols.)

•             The folio Atlases published by Mercator, Hondius, Janssonius, Ortelius, Blaeu.

•             These books contain a very detailed index of maps titles, and a map description list that may include every edition of the map (with a picture in most cases) in the last pages (for example pages 700-900 in vol. IIIb)

o             31:041 (1592  Latin): 83 #83

o             31:052 (1601 Latin): 91 #88

•             Then we examine the verso of map and look for a page number (or, in many cases, a combination of numbers and letters). In this example, if the verso page number is 88, then this map is from 1601.

510 _4  Koeman-Krogt. Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, ‡c xx:xxx

1.            Phillips Geographical Atlases (8 vols.) -- A very extensive catalogue of antique maps mainly from the Americas. Most commonly used are volumes 1,2,3 and 4.

510 _ 4 List of geographical atlases in the Library of Congress, ‡c xxxx

2.            Shirley Maps in the Atlases of the British Library (2 vols.) -- Great reference source for any map published in the United Kingdom and for many English mapmakers.

510 _ 4 Maps in atlases of the British Library, ‡c

3.            Laor Maps of the Holy Land -- Probably the most important reference book for maps of Palestine/Israel and the most important cities. Includes index with names of mapmakers at the end.

510_ 4 Laor, E. Maps of the Holy Land, ‡c xxxx

4.            Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers -- Great reference used especially for non-famous geographers. Usually quotes and dates all works by the mapmaker.

510 _4  Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, ‡c [Page No.]

5.            Norwich Maps of Africa -- This is a very complete reference guide for all maps of Africa old and new, with extensive descriptions.

510 _ 4  Norwich’s maps of Africa, ‡c xxx

6.            Cueto Cuba in Old Maps -- The most complete reference guide for antique maps of Cuba.

510 _ 4 Cueto’s Cuba in old Maps, ‡c xxx

Always transcribe these sources as listed in the libguide, “Standard citations for antique map cataloging” or consult the Standard citation forms for rare materials cataloging website for correct transcription,




WARNING: the Internet is a valuable research tool but it may lead to wrong or inaccurate information, use carefully. In general the Internet should be used for getting clues about the map, mapmaker, publisher, etc. and identifying publications where the information can be found. For list of useful and valuable internet references to consult, see libguide “Standard Citations for antique map cataloging”.



  1. [A very reliable database with pictures and many research tools, unfortunately holds maps mostly from the XIX and XX centuries. It uses Phillips as the main reference. An example of the reference number is: P3103.]
  2. [This auction website lists hundreds of antique maps and is a good site for gathering some clues about the map in question. Always compare the information from here with the reference books]

Past contributors: Dr. HelenJane Armstrong, Jimmie Lundgren, Javier Sampedro.

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