SOLO is the libraries' online catalogue. It's best to use the Advanced search to look for maps. Advanced Search has options to make your search more specific. For instance, you can narrow down by title, publisher, year, and resource type (such as maps, music or journals) amongst others.
The default search is ‘Search Everything’. Use the dropdown to select other search options; choose Oxford Collections in order to find maps in the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries.
If you want to find maps for a particular place, select 'Subject' from the dropdown and put the place name followed by the word 'maps', for example, 'France maps' or 'Africa maps'. This will just find maps of the place you are looking for. Below is a search for maps of Mount Everest.
Alternatively, you can search by title, author or keyword, and then use the Resource Type facet on the left of the screen to limit your search results to just maps.
If you want to find out how detailed the maps are, you can search by place and narrow down your results using the Map Scale facet, shown below. This comes quite far down the list of facets, on the left hand side of the screen under "Sort and filter results."
One important thing is that detailed maps of a specific area are very often part of a series covering the whole country, which will be catalogued under the name of the country. There's more information under series mapping.
Can't find the maps you want? Here are some common issues:
Many maps are published as a series and there's just one record for the whole set. So if you want, for instance, an Ordnance Survey Landranger map covering Oxford, you need to search under Britain, and then order the sheet you want. If you want a detailed map of a district in Botswana, it's worth searching under Botswana as well as under the name of the district. It's a little like searching for a journal article, where you have to begin by finding the record for the journal in order to locate a relevant article.The section on series mapping has more information.
If you're looking for a map that was originally published in a book or atlas, it may not be individually catalogued. But there are often reference sources that can be used to track it down.
Manuscript estate maps don't always have a record in SOLO if they are part of our manuscript collections, but Special Collections staff can help to find them.
Let us help! If you are having difficulty please contact the Map Room.
Even if we don't hold the maps you're looking for, we may be able to suggest other sources.
If you haven't used SOLO before, you may find it helpful to consult the general SOLO guide first.