2700 maps (color; approximate)
Beginning in 1895, the U. S. Geological Survey published several series of topographic maps of Michigan at different scales and covering different size quadrangles (quadrangles are areas bounded by parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude). By the 1980s, the entire state had been mapped in one or another series of topographic maps. These maps show a variety of geographic features, including cultural features such as roads, buildings, and cemeteries, hydrographic features such as lakes and rivers, topographic features shown by contour lines and elevations, and vegetation. Maps of some areas of the state, especially southeastern Michigan, have been revised and reissued at more-or-less regular intervals, allowing users to trace urban development, erosion, and other changes over time. Other areas of the state, especially the northern Lower Peninsula and eastern Upper Peninsula, have been mapped only once.
Although many series of topographic maps have been issued for Michigan, The Michigan Historical Collections has collected only the following:
15 Minute, Scale 1:62,500: This was the first series issued for Michigan, beginning in 1895. The last new maps in this series were issued in 1963. The scale is about one mile to an inch. Each map covers an area 15 minutes of latitude by 15 minutes of longitude (or about 17 by 13 miles in the southern part of the state). Early maps in this series do not show vegetation.
15 Minute, Scale 1:48,000: Maps in this series were issued in the 1910s and 1920s, apparently as advance editions for 1:62,500 maps. The scale is about 3/4 of a mile to an inch, and each map covers a 15 minute by 15 minute area. Maps in this series do not show vegetation.
7.5 Minute, Scale 1:24,000: First published in 1934, this series began to replace the 1:62,500 series as the standard size for topographic maps. From 1963 to about 1980 all larger scale topographic maps for Michigan were issued in this series. (Beginning about 1980 publication of a new 1:25,000 series began, but publication of the 1:24,000 series continued.) The scale is 2,000 feet to an inch, or about 1/3 of a mile to an inch. Each map covers an area 7.5 minutes of latitude by 7.5 minutes of longitude (or about 8.5 miles by 6.5 miles in the southern part of the state). These maps are produced both with and without a green overprint showing vegetation. The Michigan Historical Collections collection of this series includes some of each type.
7.5 Minute, Scale 1:25,000: Maps in this series were first published about 1980. The maps are very similar to those in the 1:24,000 series except for the slightly different scale based on the metric system. The scale is 1/4 kilometer per centimeter, or about .4 miles to an inch. At this time, the Michigan Historical Collections holds only a small portion of the maps published in this series.
7.5 Minute, Scale 1:31,680: This series was issued in the 1930s and 1940s, mainly identified as "advance sheets" or "preliminary editions." Some of these maps do not show topography, but other than that they are very similar to those in the 1:24,000 series. The scale is 1/2 mile to an inch.
Specials: A few topographic maps have been issued for areas other than the normal quadrangles. Those held by the Michigan Historical Collections are found in this series.
Index Maps: Index maps have been published at irregular intervals by the Geological Survey to show all topographic maps in print for Michigan at the time of their publication.
Folios: In the early period of publication of topographic maps, folios were published for various quadrangles which included topographic and geological maps as well as text describing the geology of the area. Three folios were published for Michigan quadrangles: Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Menominee. The Ann Arbor and Menominee folios are cataloged in the atlas collection (MH/4/W319/1908/R963 and MH/4/W319/1915/R963 for two editions of the Ann Arbor folio, MH/3/M5/U58/1900 for Menominee). The Detroit folio is cataloged in the book collection (EB/2/W359/S554) and the maps have been removed and cataloged in the map collection (M/4113/.W3/1916/S5).
Other series of topographic maps have been issued by the Geological Survey, including maps at scales of 1:50,000, 1:100,000, and 1:250,000. Maps in these series, as well as maps lacking from the series held by the Michigan Historical Collections, may be found in the Map Library, 8th Floor, Hatcher Graduate Library, on Central Campus.
Some topographic maps of Michigan have been published by the U. S. Army Map Service and the U. S. Forest Service. Maps in these series are cataloged separately.
U. S. Geological Survey topographic maps held by the Michigan Historical Collections are listed in this finding aid. For each of the series described above, the maps are listed alphabetically. The titles are listed as shown on the maps themselves and on the index maps. Topographic maps are named for a prominent town or physical feature located near the center of the quadrangle. Other information shown for each map includes:
Coordinate location for the map. For the 7.5 Minute series this consists of the Geological Survey code for the quadrangle, based on 1-degree blocks of latitude and longitude plus an alphanumeric for each map. For other series this consists of the latitude and longitude of the southeast corner of the map.
The latest survey date listed in the lower left hand corner of the map. This is almost always the same as the date shown on the index maps (major exceptions are photorevised maps, which are indexed under the date shown here as the reprint date, and maps published in the 1980s, which are indexed under the date shown here as the print date).
The printing or edition date shown prominently in the lower right hand corner of the map.
The reprint date; the actual date of printing of the map. Reprints of maps with the same print date sometimes contain revisions. In the case of photorevised maps, the reprint date shown here is the date of the photorevision.
Whether the map was printed with a green overprint showing vegetation.
Whether the map is photorevised, or revised from aerial photographs without field checks.
Using the index maps in conjunction with this finding aid will allow a researcher to determine whether topographic maps exist for a particular area and whether the Michigan Historical Collections holds those maps.