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Russia and its Empire in Eurasia: Cartographic Resources in the Library of Congress


Shokalʹskiĭ, I︠U︡. M. (I︠U︡liĭ Mikhaĭlovich), cartographer. Gipsometricheskai︠a︡ karta Rossīĭskoĭ Imperīi : (opyt izobrazhenīi︠a︡ relʹefa Imperīi). [1912?]. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Physical maps for the most part represent the surface of the land or floor of the ocean or water body without man-made structures or vegetation. With regard to physical maps of Russia, these can be at the national, regional, republic, and oblast levels. Physical maps depict differences in elevation, usually by shaded tinting, spot heights, and/or contour lines, but they can also identify topographic features, such as mountains and mountain ranges, depressions, rivers and lakes, landscape formations, coastal areas, and bathymetry. Those that are cataloged can be searched on the Library of Congress online catalog under common terms such as "Russia maps, physical," or "Ural Mountains Region Russia maps, physical," or "Primorski kraii maps, physical." Uncataloged materials are described below.

Single Maps

The division holds sixty-four uncataloged maps in four drawers illustrating the physical landscape of Russia and the former Soviet Union for the period 1929 to 1975. They are arranged chronologically. Most were compiled and published by the Soviet Union's Glavnoe Upravlenie Geodezii i Kartografii (GUGK). A few, including one cataloged item, are described below as examples.


Gipsometricheskaia karta Rossiiskoĭ Imperii : (opyt izobrazheniia relʹefa Imperii). Shokalʹskii, IUlii Mikhailovich. ([St. Petersburg?] : Izd. Pereselencheskago upravleniia Glavn. upr. zemleustr. i zemled., [1912?]). Chromolithograph. Scale 1:12,600.000. Filed under LC call number G7001.C2 1912 .S5

Physical relief map of the Russian Empire from the early part of the twentieth century. Shows cities and towns; place names; administrative subdivisions at the oblast level; roads and railroads; hydrography; depth by gradient tints; and relief by contours and gradient tints. Includes a table of extreme heights (in meters), as well as a hypsometric scale. Inscribed in the upper-left hand corner by the author, in remembrance of his visits to the Library in 1912.

Available as a digital image through the Library of Congress website.

Karta S.S.R. Sostavlena Kartograficheskim Komiteta V.S.N.Kh.-S.S.S.R. Izdanie Glavnogo Geodezicheskogo Komiteta. / Map of the U.S.S.R compiled by the Cartographic Department of the Geodetic Committee of the Supreme Council of Public Economy of U.S.S.R. ([Moscow]: V.S.N.Kh.-S.S.S.R, 1929). Chromolithograph, colored. Scale 1;5,000,000. Filed under USSR -- Physical -- 1929 -- 1:5,000,000 -- Supreme Council of Public Economy

Vivid and finely-drawn physical map of the U.S.S.R. from 1929. Map illustrates relief by contours, spot heights, and shaded tinting. Also shows nine levels of settlements; place names; six levels of administrative divisions; administrative centers; single and double track railroads, as well as railway lines under construction; postal, auto, and unpaved routes; radio-telegraph stations; rivers, canals, and lakes; and bathymetry by contour lines and depths. Includes legend. Includes an inset cartogram depicting degrees of topographic surveying with accompanying legend. Title in Russian, English, and French, with legend in Russian and French. Includes hypsometric scale bar.

Gipsometricheskaia Karta SSSR b masshchstabe 1:2,500,000. (Moscow: GUGK, 1949). Offset lithograph, on thirty-two sheets, color. Scale 1:2,500,000. Filed under USSR -- Physical -- 1949 -- 1:2,500,000 -- GUGK, and by unverified call number G7001 .C1 1949 .R8

Beautifully rendered physical map of the USSR on thirty-two sheets. Map shows relief by contours, spot heights, and shaded tinting. Also depicts cities and towns; place names; railroads; highways; rivers and lakes; navigable canals; submerged lands; sands; and coastlines. Each sheet includes a hypsometric scale bar; a scale map of distinctive topographic features; an index of administrative subdivisions; and a legend. Includes index map to the set.

There are twenty-seven uncataloged maps illustrating European Russia's physical landscape. They range in date from 1851 to 1967, and are arranged chronologically.

There are three uncataloged maps depicting Estonia's physical landscape for the years 1962-63; and three uncataloged maps depicting Lithuania's physical landscape for the period 1930s to 1960s.

There are four uncataloged maps depicting the physical landscape of the RSFSR from the years 1959 and 1960.

The division holds eleven uncataloged maps illustrating the physical landscape of the Caucasus for the years 1875 to 1976, three uncataloged physical maps of Armenia from 1959 to 1968, eight of Azerbaijan for the years 1939 to 1968, and seven of Georgia for the period 1954 to 1965.

The division holds three uncataloged maps depicting the physical landscape of Russian Central Asia for the years 1953 to 1955, as well as two uncataloged physical maps of Kazakhstan from 1960 and 1965, one map of Turkmenistan from 1968, one of Kyrgyzstan from 1968, and two of Tajikistan from 1938 and 1966. Two are described below.


Tadzhikstaia SSR Uchebnaia Fizicheskaia Karta. (Moscow: GUGSK NKVD SSSR, 1936). Colored map. Scale 1:750,000. Filed under USSR -- Tadzhiskaia SSR -- 1938 -- 1:750,000 -- GUGSK

Informative NKVD school map illustrating Tajikistan's physical landscape from the late 1930s. Map shows cities, towns, and villages; four levels of inhabited places; state, republic, and autonomous oblast boundaries; place names; single and narrow track railways, as well as railroads under construction; highways, paved roads, and caravan routes; various useful minerals and natural resources; rivers and lakes; springs and wells; river landings; salt lakes; salt pans; sands; swamps; glaciers; and relief by shaded tinting and spot heights. Includes legend. Includes two insets, one depicting the republic's climate and the other its vegetation, both with legends. Map includes two profiles: one profile illustrates a cross-section of Lake Sarez indicating the locations of two villages, one Usoy, covered by a landslide, and the other, Sarez, inundated by the lake; while the other profile illustrates a cross-section along a line from Stalinabad to Stalin Peak to Lake Karakul, with various elevations indicated and features identified.

Sredniaia Aziia Uchebnaia Karta. (Moscow: GUGK, 1955). Colored map. Scale 1:1, 500,000. Filed under USSR -- Soviet Central Asia -- Physical -- 1955 -- 1:1,500,000 -- GUGK, and by unverified call number G7405 1955 .R82

Soviet school map from the mid 1950s illustrating Central Asia's physical geography. Map shows cities, towns, and villages; place names; administrative divisions at the state, republic, and oblast levels; reserves; railroads; roads and passes; steamship courses on the Caspian and Aral seas, and Lake Balkhash; rivers; freshwater, salt water, and dried-out lakes; snow capped peaks; submerged lands and salt marshes; deserts; dry channels and dry riverbeds; useful minerals; and relief by shaded tinting, contours, and spot heights.

The division holds nineteen uncataloged maps illustrating the physical landscape of Siberia that range in date from the early twentieth century to 1976.

The division holds four uncataloged maps illustrating the physical landscape of Kamchatka Krai for the period 1901 to 1966; three uncataloged physical maps of Primorskii Krai for the years 1960 to 1963; and three maps of Sakhalin Oblast for the years 1943 to 1968.

The division holds three uncataloged maps depicting the physical landscape of Belarus for the period 1952-66.

The division holds fifteen uncataloged maps depicting the physical landscape of Ukraine for the period 1902 to 1966.