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HIST 203: Canada Since 1867

Research guide for HIST 203 (Winter 2024)

Finding Primary Sources: Maps

Maps are useful background information to historical events and situations. They were often produced by knowledgeable cartographers who had access to necessary raw data and descriptions not easily accessible today, if at all. 

While maps can be large and published separately, they can also be small and hidden within other publications. This material is rarely indexed separately and is best found using secondary sources or logical inferences (i.e., where are maps likely to occur?).

To use the Catalogue to find maps in books, add "nt:maps" to your search terms.


It is always necessary to look at the physical or electronic book to determine whether you have actually found a meaningful map.

Government reports sometimes contain maps. Consult the section on finding Canadian government reports.

The map collection in Rare Books and Special Collections on the fourth floor of McLennan Library Building has one of the largest collections of Canadian maps in the country. Contact a Rare Books Librarian at

There are also digitized collections of maps available for browsing.


Find more maps and geospatial data on the Maps & Geospatial Guide.

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