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Regional Geography of Iowa: Cartographic Resources

GEOG 5150

A.T. Andreas' Illustrated Historical Atlas

UNI Special Collections G1431.S1 A6 1875 and Map Ref G1430.S1 A6 1970

Has maps of all the counties, plans of most cities and towns, brief histories of the counties and the state, and views of buildings and farms. The copies in the Map Collection are the 1970 reprint which is two-thirds the size of the original and contains information about the making of the original. This is also available on many of the web sites on this page.

Fire Insurance Maps from the Sanborn Map Company

There are several places you can access fire insurance maps. These maps cover cities and towns and provide information on what or who occupied a specfici site or structure at various times in history. There are a couple of online sources for these maps and the Rod Library has some available on microfiche.

Library of Congress Sanborn Collection

State Library of Iowa (A State Library of Iowa library card is required to view the Sanborn collection. They are free to all Iowa residents.)

Other Print Resources

Illustrated Review Showing Development of the State of Iowa

UNI Map Reference and UNI Special Collections G1430 .R6 1915

Has a brief history of the state and descriptions of the cities and towns in Iowa

Plat Books

UNI Map Reference G1433 - most recent editions

UNI Special Collections - older editions

The library receives the plat book for every county in Iowa. Plat books map out the county and provide information on who owns specific areas of land within the county. Special Collections has these dating back to the 1970s.

David Rumsey Map Collection

David Rumsey Map Collection

The David Rumsey collection is a digitized collection of maps owned by a noted map collector. It focuses primarily on cartography of the  Americas  from the 18th and 19th centuries and has digitized the Andreas atlas.

Iowa Geographic Map Server

Iowa Geographic Map Server

The Iowa Geographic Map Server provides free access to geographic map data of the state of Iowa and can be searched by township, range, and section number, city name, or USGS quadrangle name. Various layers can be added to show different aspects of the area.

Topographic Maps

The Rod Library has topographic maps in print of the entire state. 

You can also access topographic maps at the Iowa Geographic Map Server and Topozone.

Iowa Digital Library

The University of Iowa Libraries has several digital collections of maps of Iowa, covering a range of years.

General Land Office maps, circa 1832-1859 Shows Native American villages and fields, the first farmsteads, town sites, trails, and other geographic information

Hixson Plat Maps  Plat books for 95 counties from 1930

Iowa Aerial Photo Indices Contains aerial photomosaic indices for aerial photos held in the Maps Collection at the University of Iowa

Iowa Counties Historic Atlases  County atlases from the late 1800s and early 1900s

Iowa Maps  Over 9,000 digitized maps of the state of Iowa. Includes some of the collections above

Illustrated Review Showing Development of the State of Iowa

Illustrated Review Showing Development of the State of Iowa

This 1915 book has a brief history of the state and descriptions of the cities and towns in Iowa.

GeoTree

Iowa LiDAR Mapping Project

Hosted by the GeoTREE Center at UNI, this allows map creation using ArcGIS.