Alaska is the northernmost state in the United States, and it's also the largest, covering 586,412 square miles of land. The most populous city, Anchorage, is home to almost 300,000 people. Alaska's geography is dominated by mountains; including 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States; lakes (about 3 million); coastline (totaling 6,640 miles, excluding islands); and Arctic tundra.
This guide introduces researchers to resources relating to Alaska in the Geography and Map Division. It is far from exhaustive, but is meant to provide an overview and a jumping-off point for further research. In addition to highlighting specific materials from the collection, this guide will provide information on searching for maps of Alaska in the Geography and Map Division collections. For further information on these materials, please contact us via Ask a Librarian.
This research guide is organized into sections describing maps, atlases, rare materials and special collections, digital collections, reference resources, and external resources. Selected materials in each category are highlighted. Wherever possible, entries include a link to the item's bibliographic record in the Library of Congress online catalog. For items which have been scanned, a link to the image in the online map collections is included as well.
Maps in each section of the guide are listed in call number order, representing how they are filed in the Geography and Map Division stacks. Each entry attempts to identify the item's title, place of publication, name(s) of its creator(s), publication date, scale, and filing location within the Geography and Map Division. Reference materials include gazetteers, historical dictionaries, publications on the historical geography of the region, etc. External websites and databases supply additional cartographic information.
Resources described in this guide relate to Alaska both pre- and post-statehood. Alaska became a state on January 3rd, 1959, and materials published since that date typically cover the state within its modern boundaries. Historical materials encompass all or part of the region of the United States District, then Department, then Territory of Alaska; the colony of Russian America; and earlier European explorations in northwestern North America. Reference resources include information on Indigenous communities in Alaska prior to European contact.