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Congressional Help: Maps


Please note: the content viewed in ProQuest® Congressional varies according to the subscriptions/purchases of individual institutions.

About Serial Set Maps (U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection High Resolution Maps Module)  

There are more than 55,000 maps in the Serial Set.  Some of these are outline maps, others are quite detailed.  For customers who have the Serial Set Digital Collection but who do not have the the High Resolutions Maps Module, users see the copy of the map as it was scanned from the microfiche and it will be in the Serial Set volume.

Customers with the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection High Resolution Maps Module will have both the lower resolution version included in the Serial Set volume and a separate record for the high resolution map, which can be viewed in the map viewer.  To see an example, look at the record below.  If you can see the link to the Map File at the bottom of the page, you can see the high resolution version.  The low resolution version is found on page 2 of the PDF - Full Text link. 

The high resolution optional maps module of the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection allows access to color and high resolution versions of the maps indexed in the U.S. Serial Set Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps. The maps contained within the U.S. Serial Set represent one of the greatest single collections of cartographic materials of the United States. From the exploration of the American West to the Parisian defenses during the Crimean War, the Serial Set carto-bibliographic records allow unprecedented access to the 62,000+ maps of the Serial Set.

Accessing Maps  

Use the Basic Search Form, Advanced Search Form, or Search By Number Form

These forms are found under the Congressional or the Legislative & Executive Publications links in the menu bar across the top of the interface.



The following fields are used for searching Maps on the Advanced Search form:                                                                            
  • Anywhere except full text
  • Anywhere (including full text)
  • Subject
  • Map area/subject (Serial Set Maps only)
  • Map relief method (Serial Set Maps only)
  • Names on Map (Serial Set Maps only)
  • Title



From the Search by Number pages, the following search options may be used:

  • Accession number
  • Serial Set volume number

Collections that include Serial Set Maps  

The U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection includes full text, metadata, and carto-bibliography and also contains the low-resolution versions of the maps within the PDF of the publication.

The U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection High Resolution Maps Module is an optional, add-on module to the Serial Set Digital Collection.  This includes full text, metadata, and carto-bibliography and also includes the separate, high-resolution version of the maps. 

Search Strategies  

There are 4 ways to search for maps within the interface.

1) Use the Basic search form and input text  (Example:  yellowstone).  From the results page, look for the document type Maps in the list of filters in the left column (Note:  users may have to use the "more" option at the bottom of the list, and sort alphabetically to find Maps).

2) On the Advanced search form, check Maps, leaving the drop-down list option at the Anywhere except full text default to search the following segments from the U.S. Serial Set Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps:


  • Map Title - Includes the title as it appears on the map. If no title is available, a bracketed title is supplied using the graphic contents of the map or information from the publication in which the map is located.
  • Map Content Notation - Includes notes on content, structure, and context of the map. This segment might explain graphic features or on the map or other important elements, such as whether or not the map is in color, if the map was indexed from the departmental edition, whether the title supplied was editorially created from the graphic contents of the map, or any number of other miscellaneous notes.
  • Names on Map - Includes all non-title information related to the original creation and printing of the map. Includes information on: printing companies; government agencies and offices; and individual engineers, surveyors, cartographers, geologists, lithographers, and engravers.
  • Relief - Includes the following types of map relief: bathymetry, contours, form lines, gradient tints, hachures, isolines, pictorial, shading, soundings, and spot heights.
  • Map ID - Composed of Serial Set or American State Papers volume number, publication series, publication number, and order of map within that publication. For example, 6841 H.doc.1717, map 2 indicates that this is the second map in House Document 1717 in Serial Set volume 6841.
  • Map Area/Subject - The Midwest Mapping Project and the resultant Checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900 (1981) provided the initial vocabulary for the geographic indexing used by the Carto-Bibliography of Maps to categorize the maps in the Serial Set. Library of Congress subject headings were also consulted, but the bulk of the extremely detailed indexing was based on the content of the map itself. Future enhancements to the map indexing will include modifying, rationalizing, and harmonizing the detailed geographic indexing and, more importantly, providing a hierarchy for the final terminology. For specific term lookup, use the Serial Set Map Terms accessible from the Index Terms look-up tool.
  • Serial Set ID - Composed of Serial Set volume, publication series, and publication number of the document in which the map occurs.
  • Document Title - Includes the title of the publication in which the map occurs.

3) Leave all Content Types selected to search the map captions in the main bibliographic record for the publication in which the map occurs. The map captions are a component of the illustration caption data.

To limit the search to items with illustrations, use the check box provided as a Document Feature Option.

To limit the search to illustration captions only, select "Illustration caption" from the box drop-down list.Maps may be accessed in this way even though the user has not selected the Serial Set Maps option.

4) Using the Search by Number form, search for a specific Serial Set volume number (e.g. 802).  This will return both the records for the reports and documents in the volume and, if your institution has the high resolution maps, the separate records with the high resolution maps will be in the results. 

Printing over-sized Serial Set Maps  

First, select the largest paper size the printer can accommodate and print to fit that paper size. Then select the Current page radio button or specify the PDF page of the map under Print Range. Finally, the Fit to Printer Margins option should be selected in the Page Handling drop-down list. The Preview Pane should show exactly how the page will look.

If this method does not lend the necessary resolution (given the overall size of the map), use the following method. First, zoom in to the part of the map you are interested in printing, open the Print menu and select the Current View radio button under Print Range and Fit to Printer Margins option in the Page Handling drop-down list. The Preview Pane should show your area of interest. Multiple printings using different views can then be pieced together to print a higher resolution map in multiple sheets, even with printers that have limited paper size capabilities.

If you want to print the entire map and you have access to a large format plotter printer, set the Postscript Settings for your printer to accommodate the particular PDF page size that contains the map. Specific instructions differ for each type of plotter printer, but generally the printer Name is first selected, then Properties, and Advanced properties are selected in sequence. For Paper Size, select Postscript Custom. This brings up a menu that allows the selection of Long Edge First in the Paper Feed Direction dialog box. The Preview Pane should show exactly how the page will look.