Monday, May 12, 2008

Guide to Atlases in Ball State University Libraries

Guide to Atlases in University Libraries

Atlases can offer a world of information to researchers, and the Atlas Collection in Bracken Library contains thousands of atlases of the world, nations, cities, and various specific themes. However, researchers can find atlases located in other areas of University Libraries in addition to the Atlas Collection.

Some atlases are cataloged to be located in the general collection due to the percentage of maps found in the work. These atlases still contain many maps and data that might be useful to researchers. The Atlas of Poverty in America: One Nation, Pulling Apart, 1960-2003 is an excellent atlas using U.S. Census data in maps about poverty in relation to children, the elderly, Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups in the American population.

The Atlas of European Values is located in the general collection and features maps involving national pride, religion, the work environment, women, politics, and social outlook and networks.

The Gourmet Atlas in the general collection is obviously an atlas all about the foods of the world. This atlas features maps showing the pastas of Italy and the locations of the earliest fruits in the world.

The Penguin Atlas of Endangered Species (shown) offers a thorough examination of the threatened species around the world. This atlas offers maps showing the specific ecosystems of the world and maps about the various endangered animals. The atlas also features graphs and other statistics about the plight of these species.

The Atlas of Egyptian Art, Historical Atlas of American Crime, Atlas of the Civil War, Historical Atlas of the Renaissance, Historical Atlas of Religions, Historical Atlas of the Celtic World, and the Routledge Atlas of African American History are just some of the other atlases available in the general collection.

Atlases can also be located in the reference collection. The Archives and Special Collections houses rare and historical atlases. The Architecture Library includes atlases about architecture, world cities, and the popular Delorme topographic atlases of states. The Science Library includes many atlases about outer space, including stars and galaxies. The Government Publications area includes many atlases produced by the U.S. government, including the new U.S. Census Atlas. And Educational Resources in the lower level contains many atlases directed to children, including the Dinosaur Atlas.

Atlases can be an excellent resource for researchers since the maps can be easily scanned for inclusion in a presentation or report. Users can search for atlases in the Library’s CardCat system under the “advanced search.” Just enter the topic of interest and the word atlas to find an atlas related to many disciplines and areas of study.

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