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Maps, Charts and Architectural Plans

Search Guides

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How to enter search terms when searching for:

How to Improve Search Results


Guide for Using Library Advanced Search

Related Links:

On the Library Advanced Search page:

  1. Always use "Any Keyword" when doing a search.
  2. If searching with a date, use an "Any Keyword" field.
  3. Under "Search In," select "LAC Catalogue" to search the LAC collection only.
  4. In the "Format" drop-down menu, select "Map."
    Note: When searching for an atlas, type "atlas" in an "Any Keyword" text box and leave the "Format" as "All."
  5. Select "Submit."

Example 1

Screenshot of the Library Advanced Search screen showing search fields, options, text boxes with sample keywords "Canada," "Canadian Climate Centre," and

Example 2

Search for an atlas:

Screenshot of the Library Advanced Search screen showing search fields, options, text boxes with sample keywords "1908," "Atlas," and "Edward Stanford" in this case, drop-down lists with default or specified settings, and buttons.


Guide for Using AMICUS Advanced Search

Related Links:

On the AMICUS Advanced Search page:

  1. Under "Choose a Catalogue," select
    • "National Library Collections" to search LAC collections.
  2. In the Keyword drop-down menu, select "Any Keyword."
  3. In the Keyword text boxes, enter "cartographic" (or "cartographique" for maps in French).
    Note: When searching for atlases, enter "atlas" instead of "cartographic."
  4. Enter all additional search terms.
  5. Select: "Submit."

Example

Screenshot of the AMICUS Advanced Search screen showing search options, text boxes with sample keywords "cartographic," "Heron Bay," and "Canadian Hydrographic Service" in this case, drop-down lists with default or specified settings, and buttons.


Guide for Using Archives Advanced Search

Related Links:

On the Archives Advanced Search page:

  1. Always use "Any Keyword" when doing a search.
  2. If searching with a date, use an "Any Keyword" text box.
  3. In the "Type of material" drop-down menu, select whichever is appropriate for your search, either:
    • "Maps and cartographic material"
      or
      "Architectural and technical drawings"
  4. In the "Online" drop-down menu, select "Yes" if you want descriptions with digital images only.
  5. Select "Submit."

Example

Screenshot of the Archives Advanced Search screen showing search options, text boxes with sample keywords "British Admiralty," "Nova Scotia," and "1995" in this case, drop-down lists with default or specified settings, and buttons.

On the Search Results page:

Use the "Limit to" options in the right-hand column to further narrow your search results. E.g., the "Item" option in the "Hierarchical Level" limits results to the individual or item-level descriptions (i.e., a single map instead of a group of maps).

Example

Screenshot of the right-hand column of the Archives Search results page showing the various options available for narrowing search results.


How to Improve Search Results

General:
It is recommended that you always use "Any Keyword" in the Keyword field when searching.

Dates:
Because the publication dates of maps can be uncertain, you may wish to avoid using the "Date" text box; instead, enter dates into an "Any Keyword" text box to improve search results.

Names:
Keep in mind that the databases contain descriptions of historical documents. You may need to use expressions and words whose meanings have changed over time to improve your search results.

E.g.

Great War, European War, First World War, World War 1
Klondike, Klondyke

Be aware of changes in place names.

E.g.

Fort Frontenac, Cataraqui or Cataracoui = Kingston, Ville-Marie = Montréal, Bytown = Ottawa, York = Toronto

Publishers of older maps often changed French place names to an English equivalent.

E.g.

Île-aux-Grues changed to Crane Island, Pointe-Lévis changed to Point Levi, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu changed to St. John's

Map Series:
When searching for a specific title from a map series (such as the 1:50 000 NTS or nautical charts), it is recommended that you search by the sheet number or the individual title.