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Brinkerhoff Geology Library (Brinkerhoff Earth Resources Information Center): Collections

The Brinkerhoff Geology Library is located in the Geology Building at the Northwest corner of the UW Campus.

Goosenecks State Park

Photographer: Enrico Stirl

Aerial Photos

Scope of Collections

We have sets that, as a group, cover the entire state of Wyoming and span from 1936 into the 2000s, with most from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Most were produced by Federal or state agencies and therefore are not copyrighted.  The 34,000 photos processed to date represent about a quarter of the collection.  Processing these sets involves considerable time, skill, and attention to detail.

About Geology Library Collections

The Geology Library collects books, journals, maps, and government publications on geology, geophysics, physical geography, mining and petroleum geology, and geological engineering. The Geology Library collects Wyoming aerial photographs from a number of government agencies and private firms.  The collection focuses on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region.

  • Although most recently issued journals are available online only, we have extensive print holdings of older volumes. Search the library collections by journal name to find both.
  • Print copies of USGS maps & documents, State geological survey, and association publications are collected; although many current publications are only available online.
  • UW Geology Theses and Dissertations are available in print and online. Theses and Dissertations are stored at the Library Annex. The Library Annex is closed to the public. Please request materials using Hold4Me or Interlibrary Loan, or set up an appointment, contact
  • Please ask for assistance in locating maps as they may be in several locations and may not be in the online catalogs.
  • Your requests, recommendations, and donations are welcomed.

Map Holdings

Topographic maps

For more information about the Map Collection, please click on the Map Collection tab located on this page.

The Geology Library houses a collection of USGS topographic maps at scales of 1:24,000, 1:100,000, and 1:250,000.  All editions for Wyoming and only the most current editions for other states are retained.  Maps are filed by state and then alphabetically by sheet name in the Map Room.  Search GNIS by placename.

Geologic Maps

Geological Maps are published by the Federal Government (USGS), state geological surveys, and professional societies.  The Library focuses collection efforts on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region.  The USGS publishes geological maps of all states and many countries.  Good sources for identifying published geological maps are GeoRef and the National Geologic Map Database.  Once you have identified a map of interest, search the library collections to determine if the Library owns a print copy and to find the location and call no.  Many state geological surveys have maps available for download on their websites at no charge.  The Geology Library also owns many maps from state surveys.

BLM Surface Management/Mineral Management Maps

BLM maps show surface and sub-surface mineral rights ownership status (private land owners are not indicated). BLM maps are currently published at a scale of 1:100,000, covering a 35 x 50 mile area. See the index map for Wyoming to determine the appropriate sheet.

Political & Thematic Maps

Maps showing political and administrative areas, energy, soils, climate, and transportation are located in the Map Room and on the Map Shelves.  Most are organized by U.S. state, country, and regions using Library of Congress call numbers.  Use the call number guides in these areas to identify the appropriate call numbers for the location you are interested in.  CIA country political maps are in the Map Room Government Document drawers; these are filed alphabetically by country under the PREX heading.

Historical Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps The UW Libraries have three versions of these important historical maps for Wyoming. The original, color maps are cataloged and housed in Special Collections. A black & white, scanned collection is (accessible only if signed on to WyoWeb). These include some years that are not available in paper. A third black & white set is available on microfilm at Coe Library and also provides some coverage not available in paper.

Wyoming General Land Office (GLO) Maps and Mining Claim Maps
These are on microfiche in the Audiovisual Department of Coe Library. They are organized by township and range and cataloged using the call numbers G 4261 .G465 svar and G 4261 .H1 svar. GLO maps are also available online through the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management.

Army Map Service (AMS) Map Series
The U.S. Army Mapping Service (AMS) sets were produced during World War II  and cover most of Europe, North Africa, and East and South Asia. These are some of the most detailed maps available for parts of China, especially Manchuria, and for islands of the southwestern Pacific. The scales vary from 1:250,000, 1:50,000, and 1:25,000.  Consult library staff for assistance with this collection.