Special Collections

Country-wide coverage at 1:50,000 scale.

The Cartographic Information Center, serving the Department of Geography and Anthropology of Louisiana State University, specializes in collecting maps representing Latin America, in particular Mexico. More than 3,116 maps of Mexico have been collected and classified, forming a collection which may boast of both currency and completeness. The primary virtue of the collection resides in its extensive series holdings. 1:50 000 topographic series of Mexico, created and released by the Mexican government, offers near-complete coverage of the country in close detail. This series offers information on transportation, settlements, place names, and physical land features, in addition to topology. Larger scales, such as 1:100 000, 1:250 000, 1:500 000, are also available through map series' offering broad coverage of Mexico and its states. 

Information related to the land and people of Mexico may be gleaned from the various forms and types of material collected. The physical features, characteristics, and use of the land are ascertainable from agricultural, ecological, geologic, and topographic maps. Economic, linguistic, population, and transportation maps describe the cultural aspects of the people. The collection extends also to include satellite images, aerial photographs, and base maps of Mexico.

The collection is one devoted primarily to currency: 78 percent of the 3116 maps, and all LANDSAT images, have been published since 1980. Information preceding this is available through aerial photographs, maps, and Rare-Historic materials. The R.C. West collection of aerial photographs stretches through the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. About 400 maps date from these decades. Rare-historic maps are designated as those published in the 1930s and before. The collection houses 146 `rare` pieces, published in Mexico, Germany, France, and the U.S.

Summary by Kimberly Kowal

Over 6,000 black and white photos taken from the 1940s through 1980s.

About 10,000 color slides of Mexico, Central and South America Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Nearly 7,000 journal articles.

Primary source material used to establish the Louisiana territorial limit over the Gulf of Mexico oil fields. This collection includes historical Coast & Geodetic Survey Hydrographic Surveys and Charts as well as Topographic Surveys and Maps. This is the largest concentration of these historical materials in Louisiana.