Skip to main content

Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Maps: Introduction

Maps and aerial photographs at UIC and other sites

Maps and Geographic Information Systems

The Maps Unit of Special Collections houses a cartographic materials collection of over 179,000 maps, 2,000 atlases, 150,000 aerial photographs, a small collection of map-related reference books, as well as digital data. The Maps Unit is located within the Special Collections and University Archives Department on the third floor of the Richard J. Daley Library.


The Library Catalog is the starting point for your maps research.

For reference assistance or to request access to Maps Unit materials, visit the Ask A Librarian service.  Select “Special Collections and University Archives” in the Subject of your question or comment field and type your research question and list any call numbers of items or collections/boxes/folders you would like to review in the Question or comment field

Maps and aerial photographs are available in the Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Please note the hours of the Special Collections Reading Room.

Quick Links

Aerial Photographs
The Maps Unit has one of the most comprehensive and publicly available aerial photograph collections for the City of Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area. The collection primarily documents the Chicago region in the years from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s.

Topographic Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are not housed in the Maps Unit. Sanborns may be viewed online or on Microfilm. The Microforms Section of the library can be found on the 2nd Floor - North of the Daley Library.

Reference and Instruction

Copying and Reproductions

Photocopying/scanning of sheet maps is not available, but you may use a cell phone or camera to take pictures of the materials at no charge. Full size reproductions can be ordered for a fee through UIC Photo Services.

Reference Librarian

Benjamin Aldred's picture
Benjamin Aldred
Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St.
2-198 LIB
Chicago, IL 60607