Map Collection: Home

Western Libraries contains a collection of maps from all over the world, but the main focus is on the Pacific Northwest.

Location, Hours and Contact Information

Inside the Map Collection

The Map Collection is located in Wilson Library 2 East (WL 290).  

Fall Quarter (September 17 - December 20, 2019)

Office Hours:

  • Monday - Friday         

               11 a.m. - 3 p.m or by appointment

  • Saturday & Sunday - Closed

To schedule an appointment, tour, or instructional session please call us at (360) 650-3272 or email


What Does The Eagle Mean?

WWU is a part of the Federal Depository Library Program.  That means the U.S. government sends us publications for free - including maps - and Western is required to make them available to the general public.  There are over 1,000 federal depository libraries and they are all marked with the eagle logo.  (Northwest Indian College in Whatcom County is another one.)

More about Western's Government Information collection.

More about the Federal Depository Library Program.

Giving to the Map Collection

We would like to thank everyone for their generous contributions of materials and/or monetary gifts throughout the years.  To make a financial contribution, please email Madeline Kelly or phone (360) 650-4320.  Donations can also be made online or by mail to the Western Foundation, Western Washington University, 516 High Street MS-9034, Bellingham, WA  98225-9034.  Please designate your contribution to Western Libraries and identify "Map Collection" as the area you wish to support.  

Your donations go toward the programming and materials needs of the collection and to support the academic mission of Western Libraries and Western Washington University.  


The Map Collection is a multidisciplinary collection of cartographic materials, housing over 75,000 contemporary and historic maps including atlases, reference books, and globes.  The collections covers many areas of the world, with a focus on the Pacific Northwest region, and parts of western and northern Canada.  The collection supports the teaching, learning, and research needs of students and educators at all levels and academic fields, as well as community members and the general public.  We offer tours, in-class instructional sessions, research assistance, and public programming to promote the discovery and use of the collection.  


The Wilson Library Map Collection

Upcoming Events

Cartographer and geographer Stefan Freelan will discuss the process behind how the "Salish Sea" became recognized as an official name and the role that his map, The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin, played in that process.

Maps help us to better understand our environment. They also serve political and cultural agendas. This map was created both as an educational aid and as a part of the larger naming campaign (i.e., as a piece of propaganda). In this talk Stefan will explore the choices and creative process that went into the creation of the map, why the map is the way it is and how it’s different from other maps of the area. Stefan will present a collection of related maps to compare, contrast and discuss alongside The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin.

Stefan Freelan, Assistant Director of Huxley College's Spatial Institute, will give a talk called “The Story of the Salish Sea Map" on Wednesday, November 20 at 4 p.m. at Western Washington University in the Map Collection, located in Wilson Library Room 290. This event is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by Western Libraries, Huxley College of the Environment, and the Spatial Institute.  It is offered as part of the Western Libraries “Speaking of Maps” lectures, designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life.  

For more information about this event, please contact Dennis Matthews,, 360-650-3272. 

Speaking of Maps program (past speakers)

Mapping Mars
Writing a People's Natural History Guidebook
Archival Evidence for Historical Changes
What's in a Name?
Maps as Lenses on Nazism
Building a Digital Atlas of the Pacific Northwest
Mapping Mars: Our Evolving Vision of the Red Planet, Part II


Map Collection Sustainability Award

We recently received Sustainability Office Certification! 

You can read about it at the WWU Sustainability Office website.

Map Collection Manager

Dennis Matthews's picture
Dennis Matthews
360-650-3272 (Map Collection)