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Research Help

Research Help

Maps: Getting Started

Information about the Foscue Map Library and finding and using map resources.


The Foscue Map Library is currently closed due to renovation at the Fondren Library Center.
The library will likely reopen in Spring 2016 and be available by appointment only.


This is a guide to starting points and strategies for understanding and doing research with maps.  Cataloging maps in the Foscue Map Library at SMU remains an ongoing process and many maps do not appear in the online catalog.  Please email requests so that we can use additional Map Library resources to satisfy your needs. 

Additional information about the Foscue Map Library, including how to request a research consultation, can also be found here.

Finding Maps at SMU

Maps accompanying books generally remain with the books.  Descriptive material accompanying individual and series maps generally remain with the map in the Map Library.

You may find some maps, charts and atlases in the online catalog, but please also request assistance in the Map Library (or by email) for maps which you do not find cataloged online or for help constructing search strategies.  

Searching the online catalog use Advanced Search

Select Type of Material = Maps, Atlases, Globes 

Use Keywords such as:

  • Topographic, geologic, or historic;
  • Locations such as region, state, county;
  • Features, natural or man-made, such as: road(s), forest or park;
  • Topical designations such as: oil, gas or petroleum; minerals (and specific named ores or minerals); population or ethnicity.

Director of Fondren Library and Head of Research Services

Elizabeth Killingsworth

Ask a Librarian - Chat

General contact information

Call a research librarian at the Fondren Library Center Central Service Desk, 214-768-2329.

Research Librarians are available during Fall and Spring semesters Monday - Wednesday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Thursday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.

Additional hours information may be available at Fondren Library Center.