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Guide to Map Details

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A number of codes have been used to designate various aspects of each map's bibliographic description. An explanatory list of these codes and other descriptive conventions is provided below.

Date code

c circa date -- no date on the map. Date is derived from information on the map.

a assigned by staff, based on information available in addition to the map

(no code) date taken directly from the map


also includes the agency responsible for the creation or production of the map


st. statute miles


b&w black and white

blueline blue on white

blueprint white on blue

brown line brown on white

col color

elp engraved/lithographed/printed

ms manuscript

neg negative

other reproduction process not listed here


ph-p positive photostat, black on white

photo photograph

photostat white on black

purple line purple on a light background

slide 35 mm slide

trans. photographic positive transparency

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ag agricultural map

bird birdseye view

gen general map

geo geologic map

hwy highway map

nau nautical chart

o&g oil and gas map

out outline map

own ownership map

plat plat

relf relief map

rr railroad map

stat statistical map

str street map

sur survey map

topo topographic map

tran transportation map (focus not on railroads or general highways)

wea weather & weather related info

Record Group or Series

The record group number assigned to state agencies is sometimes used in this field. For instance the number 017.8 refers to maps in Texas Planning Board records, series 8.

For manuscript collections, the series number or title is given following the title of the collection, e.g., James H. Holdeman Papers, series 7

If the records or papers are unprocessed, a series designation is not given.

AC Number

An accession number is assigned when the map is received and is used as a control number.


e English

s Spanish

g German

(other languages follow this format)

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Page last modified: December 15, 2017