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).  

Summer Quarter (June 25 - August 23, 2019)

Office Hours:

  • Monday - Friday         

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

  • Saturday & Sunday - Closed
  • Upcoming closures:  July 4th & 5th, and August 26th - September 16th

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

Melissa Rice, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science at Western Washington University,  will give a talk called “Mapping Mars: Our Evolving Vision of the Red Planet - Part II” on Tuesday, May 28 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.

In recent decades, mapping efforts by sophisticated spacecraft at Mars have revolutionized our vision of the Red Planet.  Rice will discuss the mapping, science, and exploration of Mars. Once thought by scientists to be a living world covered with vegetation that changed with the seasons, the Space Age brought a new view of Mars as a dry, cratered and barren planet.

This talk picks up where Rice left off in 2015 when she was the inaugural speaker for the “Speaking of Maps” lecture series. Rice will explore new maps by NASA's Curiosity Rover, and talk about plans for the next big mission launching to Mars in July 2020.

Rice is an Assistant Professor of Planetary Science at WWU, where she teaches in the Geology Department and the Physics & Astronomy Department. Her research focuses on the geology and habitability of ancient environments on Mars. She is a team member on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission and is part of the team building the Mastcam-Z cameras for the NASA Mars-2020 rover. Dr. Rice received her Ph.D. in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University in 2012 and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology until starting at WWU in 2014.

This event is sponsored by Western Libraries, The Planetary Society, WWU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and WWU’s Geology Department. 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


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)