Topographic maps in general depict the horizontal and vertical locations of natural and man-made (cultural) features. Both topographic and physical maps can denote differences in elevation, but physical maps emphasize the surface features of the land or floor of the ocean without man-made features, while topographic maps generally include cultural features and indicate their horizontal and vertical locations, as well as those of natural features. While both can represent changes in elevation through shaded tinting, spot heights, and contour lines, we generally associate the last two cartographic devices with topographic maps.
Topographic maps represent a very broad genre of materials, and, depending on their scale, can provide coverage at national, regional, provincial, and local levels. Those that are cataloged nonetheless can be located on the Library of Congress online catalog under general search terms as in the following examples: "Russia maps topographic"; or "Siberia Eastern Russia maps topographic"; or "Russia Federation Arctic regions maps"; "Caucasus South topographic maps"; or "Moscow Russia oblast maps topographic"; or "Tver Region Russia maps topographic."
The bulk of topographic maps of Russia and the former Soviet Union are parts of series or sets, which can range anywhere from two to several thousand sheets. Topographic maps within sets by and large are compiled and published by a single entity and its successors; tend to be issued at the same scale; generally are limited to a specific time frame of publication; usually include a uniform set of natural and cultural features; and are arranged according to some uniform alpha-numeric system devised or utilized by the creating authority. In levels of coverage they can range from small scale, i.e. 1:500,000, to medium scale, i.e. 1:100,000, or large scale, i.e. 1:2,000. Coverage can be at the national, regional, provincial, or municipal levels. About half of the sets of topographic maps of Russia are accompanied by graphic or numerical indexes that are necessary in identifying available coverage.
In theory, all sets of topographic maps of Russia in the Library of Congress are cataloged, and, thus, are listed and identified on the Library of Congress online catalog. On the other hand, many sets have older, unverified catalog records, and are not easily retrieved from a catalog search. Furthermore, catalog records do not necessarily identify the sheets available within any given set. Potentially successful searches of the LC online catalog for a sets of topographic maps of Russia, nevertheless, are possible, and can take a variety of forms, depending on the search strategy. An example may help.
The Library holds a set of topographic maps of western Imperial Russia compiled and published in the early part of the twentieth century at 1:100,000 scale by the Prussian State Survey Department. The set is formally titled Karte des westlichen Russlands, and covers what are now the Baltics and parts of Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine. The LCCN permalink https://lccn.loc.gov/2020587132 leads us directly to the record. Currently a graphic index identifying the full contents of the set is available only in the division by either a member of the reference staff or a patron consulting it onsite. Without the full title or permalink, one, nevertheless, could still identify the set on the Library's online catalog by employing a quick search for the terms that include the area of coverage and the name the publisher (if known), such as in "Russia western maps Landesaufnahme Prussia." Or, one could browse the catalog for the subject term "Russia, western maps." Or, one could perform a keyword search, expanded to include all categories, for the term "Russia western maps 1:100,000." The last two search options enable researchers to limit by location in the Library to "Geography & Map," which restricts all searches to cartographic materials.
Because there currently is no uniform method for searching for coverage or specific sheets within sets of Russian maps, researchers are urged to contact the Geography and Map Division via Ask a Librarian to determine the contents of the Library's holdings. The most successful requests generally include an accurate spelling or transliteration of a place name, the feature's geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), the desired scale of coverage, and, if known, the actual sheet name and/or number within a series.
Below we list some of the more unique and potentially useful topographic set maps of Russia.
Karta Evropeiskoi Rossii i Kavkazkago Kraia. Sostavlennaia po Noveishim" Svedieninm" pri Voenno-topograficheskom" depo i izdannaia Imperatorskim" Russkim" geograficheskim obshchestvom" 1862 goda. (Saint Petersburg: Voenno-topograficheskom' depo, 1862). Maps, hand-colored. Scale 1:1,680,000. Filed under LC call number G7010 1862 .R8
Set of twelve finely-drawn and engraved maps of European Russia and the Caucasus from the 1860s. Sheets depict cities, towns, and villages; churches, chapels, and graveyards; roads and highways; rivers, canals, and lakes; salt marshes; submerged lands; smooth and rough sands; forts, posts, and redoubts; factories; battle sites; gold mines; regimental headquarters (in the Caucasus); boundaries (hand-colored) at the state, gubernia and oblast, and uyezd levels; place names; and relief by hachures and spot heights. Includes legend. Graphic index accompanies set.
Spetsialʹnaia Karta Evropeiskoi Chasti SSSR s Prilegaiushchimi Gosudarstvami / Kartograficheskoe zavedenie. (S. Peterburg] : Isd. Voen. Top. Otdiela Glavnago Shtaba, 1865- ). 169 maps, mostly colored. Scale 1:420,000 or 10 versts to an inch. Filed under LC call number G7010.s420 .R8
Set of 169 maps covering western Russia and adjacent territories issued between 1865 to about 1937. Sheets initially compiled and published by the cartographic establishment of the Russian Army, General Staff, and by other agencies after 1917. The maps can depict place names; eight levels of settlements; administrative centers; Christian and Muslim communities up to and below 50 inhabitants; existing railroads and those under construction; highways, roads, post roads, and trails; telegraph lines and stations; forts and outposts; rivers and lakes; canals; churches, monasteries, and mosques; wells and mineral springs; factories and industries; piers; state, gubernia and oblast, and uyezd boundaries; and relief by hachures.
Library hold multiple for most sheets. Some sheets include legends. Accompanied by a graphic index.
[Topograficheskie karty evropeĭskoĭ chasti Rossiĭskoĭ Imperii masstaba 1:126 000] = [Topographic maps of the European part of the Russian Empire at scale 1:126,000]. ([Saint Petersbug?]: [General Staff of the Russian Army], [1865-1917]). Scale 1:126,000 or 1 inch to 3 versts. Filed under LC call number G7010 .s126 .R8
Large and comprehensive set of topographic maps of European Russia from the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century that was issued by the Imperial Russian government before the First World War (using old-orthography alphabet). Some of the sheets have been re-issued and reprinted by German and Polish mapping agencies. Many of the sheets exist in multiple editions. All of the sheets have row and sheet numbers: for example -- Riad VII List 27, Riad XXIII List 13, Reihe XXXIII Blatt 10 in the upper margin. Some sheets in color. Sheets variously include notes, diagrams, compilers' names, insets, and other data.
Maps show a multiplicity of features, such as cities, towns, and villages; place names; roads; railroads and railroad stations; state, gubernia, and uyezd boundaries; telegraph lines and telegraph stations; rivers and streams in various stages; bridges; piers; gardens; vegetation; and relief by hachures and spot heights.
Library holds approximately 2,000 sheets in twenty-five map drawers for this set, which is accompanied by graphic indexes and a legend.
Karte des westlichen Russlands. ([Berlin]: Reichsamt fur Landesaufnahme, [1896- ]. Maps, some colored. Scale 1:100,000. Filed under LC call number G7010 s100 .P7
Comprehensive set of topographic maps of western Russia, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, western Belarus, and Russian-governed Poland, and north-western Ukraine, with editions dating from the late nineteenth century until about 1917. By and large the sheets show cities, towns, and villages; place names; single and double track railroads; highways, roads, and footpaths; boundaries at the Reich, Bezirk, and Kreis levels; cultivated and uncultivated vegetation; rivers and streams; monasteries; post offices; cemeteries; dwellings; and relief by hachures. Sheets include legends and pronunciation tables for languages other than German. Graphic index accompanies set.
[Sovetskií Soiuz] / Generalʹnyi shtab Krasnoĭ Armii, Glavnoe upravlenie geodezii i kartografii pri SNK SSSR. ([S.l: s.n.], 1866-1941. Maps, colored. Scale 1:100,000. Filed under LC call number G7000 s100 .R8
Large set of Soviet Red Army topographic maps covering primarily the western part of the country at 1:100,000 scale. Most sheets produced ca. 1920-40. By and large sheets show cities, towns, and villages; highways and roads; railroads; vegetation; and relief pictorially and by contours, spot heights, and isolines. Sheets have sheet number in upper margin, whereas name of region (oblastʹ) in which sheet area is located appears in upper margin at right. Variant statement of attribution on some sheets: "Generalʹnyĭ shtab Krasnoĭ Armii" and "Glavnoe upravlenie geodezii i kartografii pri SNK SSSR." Some sheets are photocopies (photostats). Library's collection presumed incomplete. Graphic index available for use in reading room.
Russland 1:50,000. ([Berlin]: Generalstab des Heeres, [between 1940 and 1945]). Scale 1:50,000. Filed under LC call number G7010 s50 .G4
Large set of topographic maps of western Russia issued by Germany's Generlstab des Heeres at 1:50,000 during the Second World War. Coverage generally based on Russian topographic maps from the 1920s-30s. The sheets have been updated and/or re-issued by German military mapping authorities. Some update by aerial imagery. Many consist of the original Russia Red Army maps overprinted with place names in German (Roman alphabet). Many are based on Russian maps captured during the early phase of the War, while many are printed on verso of pre-existing map stock. All sheets have row and sheet numbers, grid locations, and sheet names in the upper margin. Most are labeled "Truppenausgabe." A few sheets exist in multiple editions; some are photostats. Some are overlaid with artillery grid coordinates and/or labeled "Als Schiesskarte geeignet!" Others labeled "Als Shiesskarte nicht geeignet!" Sheets variously include abbreviations, legends, source data, political border diagrams, and location diagrams.
Maps depict a multiplicity of cultural and natural features, among which are ten levels of urban settlements; place names; industrial and economic sites; postal and telegraph lines and stations; multiple gauges of railroad lines; multiple categories of roads; national and lower-level boundaries; multiple stages of rivers; bridges and docks; vegetation; and relief by contours and spot heights.
Graphic index and legend available for use in reading room.
Russland 1:100,000. ([Berlin]: Generalstab des Heeres, [between 1940 and 1945]. Scale 1:100,000. Filed under LC call number G7010 s100 .G4
Large set of topographic maps of western Russia issued by Germany's Generalstab des Heeres at 1:100,000 scale during the Second World War. Coverage generally based on 1:100,000 scale Russia topographic maps from the 1920s-30s, and updated by aerial imagery. The sheets have been updated and re-issued by German military mapping authorities. Many consist of the original Russia Red Army maps overprinted with place names in German (Roman alphabet). Most all are based on Russian maps captured during the early phase of the War, while many are printed on verso of pre-existing map stock. All sheets have row and sheet numbers, grid locations, and sheet names in the upper margin. Most are labeled "Truppenausgabe." A few sheets exist in multiple editions; some are photostats.
Maps depict a multiplicity of cultural and natural features, among which are ten levels of urban settlements; place names; industrial and economic sites; postal and telegraph lines and stations; multiple gauges of railroad lines; multiple categories of roads; national and lower-level boundaries; multiple stages of rivers; bridges and docks; vegetation; and relief by contours, spot heights, and land form drawings.
Graphic index and legend available for use in reading room.
Skeemiline kaart : [Eesti] / K. Puhvel, Katastri Ameti juhataja. ([Tallinn?]: Katastri Ameti kivitrükk, [1935-]). Colored maps. Scale 10:000. Filed under LC call number G7031 .G46 s10 .E8
Set of large-scale cadastral maps of Estonia showing tract numbers, boundary lines, and names of tract owners. Sheets also show cities, towns, and villages; municipality and town districts; county and city boundaries; three classes of roads; Lutheran and Orthodox churches; forests and bogs; cultivated forest lands; and relief by contours and spot heights. Set accompanied by graphic index.
Estland-Lettland. 1:100,000. Sonderausgabe. ([Berlin]: German. Heer. Generalstab, [1940-]. Colored maps. Scale 1:100,000. Filed under LC call number G7020 s100 .G4
Complete set of sixty-three large-scale topographic maps of Latvia and Estonia prepared by the German Army at the beginning of the Second World War. Sheets depict cities, towns, villages, and settlements; standard and narrow gauge railways; paved roads, streets, trails, and village paths; churches and chapels; toll houses; foresters' huts; cemeteries and graves; factories, windmills, and watermills; state and Kreis boundaries; forests and meadows; rivers and lakes; lighthouses and navigational beacons; and relief by contours and spot heights. Each sheets bears an extensive legend and list of abbreviations. Sheets are enlargements of Estonian and Latvian 1:200,000 scale sheets. Set accompanied by graphic index.
[Lietuva]. (Kaunus: Karatopgrafijos Skyriaus, 192- ). Maps, colored. Scale 1:100,000. Filed under LC call number G7050 s100 .L5
Set of forty-eight large-scale topographic maps of Lithuania from the 1920s. Maps show cities, towns, and villages; small-scale property structures; highways, roads, and trails; railroads; state, county, and lower order boundaries; rivers and lakes; submerged lands; cultivated lands; vegetation by colors and symbols; and relief by contours and spot heights. Set accompanied by graphic index.
5ti verstnaia karta Kavkaza, s prilezhashchemi chastiami Turtsīi i Persīi. (Tiflis : Litogr. V.T.O. pri. Shtabie Kavk. voen. okruga, [1880?-1917?]). Maps, non-colored. Scale [ca. 1:210,000. 5 versts = 1 in.]. Filed under LC call number G7120 s210 .K3 MLC.
A set of 5 verst (ca. 1:210,000 scale) maps of the Caucuses, as well as parts of eastern Turkey and northern Iran, by Russia's Caucasian Military District, Military-topographic Directorate from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Library holds complete coverage in eighty-two sheets. Sheet indexes kept with the collection. Province names appear in upper margin at right, e.g.: Kubanskoĭ Oblasti -- Stavropolʹsk. gub. Terskoĭ i Kubansk. oblasteĭ -- Tiflisskoĭ gubernīi -- Persīia (Tegeran); but some maps have no province name. The set is accompanied by a sheet index map, Sbornyĭ list 5ti verstnoĭ karty Kavkaza s prilegai︠u︡shchimi chasti︠a︡mi Turt︠s︡īi i Persīi, filed with the collection.
[Topograficheskaia karta Zakavkazʹia masshtaba 1:42 000]. [Russia : s.n., 1881?-1930?]. Maps, some in color, some photocopies. Scale 1:42,000. [1 in. = 1 verst]. Filed under LC call number G7120 s42 .R8 MLC
Set of 1 verst (1:42,000 scale) maps of the South Caucasus issued initially by the Russian Army's Military Cartography Corps in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Coverage is incomplete, and the set does not have a graphic index. Date of information is in the upper margin at left, e.g.: 1881 g. -- 1911 i 1928 g.g. -- 1929 g. The title of the set was devised by the cataloger. Names of each responsible agency differs: Upravlenie voennykh topografov -- Upravlenie voennykh topografov RKKA -- Voenno-topograficheskoe upravlenie -- Generalʹnyĭ shtab Krasnoĭ Armii. Prerevolutionary sheets have no agency name. Some maps are prerevolutionary sheets produced by Korpus voennykh topografov; some are Soviet reprints of prerevolutionary sheets; some are newly produced by Soviet agencies.
[Zakaspiiskoi Oblast]. (S.l.: Upravlennie Voennykh Topografov RKKA, [1892- ]). Maps, colored. Scale 1:210,000. Filed under LC call number G7240 s210 .R8
Set of maps of the northern Caucasus and the Transcaspian Oblast from the late nineteenth century. Maps show towns, villages, and settlements; roads; railroads; roads and trails; rivers and streams; salt marshes; sands; place names; and relief by shading.
[Topograficheskaia karta sovetskoi TSentralʹnoi Azii] / oformleno Sr. Az. kartograficheskoi fabrikoi Vses. kartografich. tresta GGGGU NKTP SSSR v [year] g. ; oformleno v [year] g. Sr. Az. kartograficheskoi fabrikoi Vses. kartografich. tresta GUGSK NKVD SSSR. ([Moscow?]: Vses[oiuznyi] kartografich[eskii] trest, [1932-1936]). Set of quadrangles, colored. Scale 1:10,000. Filed under LC call number G7210 s10 .S7
Large scale set of maps from the 1930s covering mostly Uzbekistan but including parts of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Maps emphasize administrative and agricultural boundaries, but also depict relief. Sheets show republic, raion, sovkhoz, kolkhoz, and farm boundaries; vineyards, gardens, and rice fields; cemeteries; shrubberies; stony lands and steppe; pastures; passable and impassable swamps; salt marshes; railroad lines; highways, roads, and trails; bridges; telegraph and telephone lines; buildings; wells; mosques; engineer and local headquarters; and relief by contours and some spot heights.
Title of series devised by the cataloger. Date of information and name of covered area in the upper margin. Map quadrangles variously numbered in upper margin. Maps are in Russian, but most also have name of covered area in Roman-Alphabet local language, i.e., Uzbek, Tajik, and Kyrgyz. Each sheet has a legend, with Roman-alphabet information in local language. Some sheets are photocopies. Set accompanied by graphic index.
Karta iuzhnoi pogranichnoi polosy Aziatskoi Rossii / Upravlenie voennykh topografov. ([S.I.]: Moskovskii Kartoizdatel'skii otdel Korp. voen topografov, 1919-35). Scale 1:1,680,000 or 40 versts = 1 inch. Filed under LC call number G7115 s1680 .R8
Set of maps depicting the southern border region of Asiatic Russia and neighboring lands. Coverage on thirty-seven sheets extends (east to west) from Persia to Japan, and (north to south) from Surgut' to Nepal. Maps show cities, towns, and villages; place names; state, republic, and oblast boundaries; railroads; roads; and rivers. Relief is shown by shading, bathymetric tints, and hachures; while depths are shown by soundings. Some sheets include tables for converting feet to meters. Upper margins of sheets include sheet number and name of region in which sheet area is located. Includes various editions of some sheets. A graphic index is included with the set.
Amurskaia oblastʹ, gorno-polits. bureinskago okrug. ([Russia] : [publisher not identified], [1894-1909]). Incomplete set of 17 sheets. Scale approximately 1:84,000. 1 inch = 2 versts. Filed under LC call number G7062.A5 s84 .A4
Set of topographic quadrangle maps covering areas in the Amur River watershed (Manchuria and Russian Far East). Though their dates of creation have not been ascertained, they appear to date from late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their compiler/publisher is unknown, as there is no statement of attribution. In general the sheets show towns and villages; place names; and relief by contours and spot heights. Some of the maps depict the railroad route and station names. Some sheets have water areas (Amur River and large tributaries) colored in printed light blue, while others have no coloration. Some of the sheets have been annotated in red pencil to show names and tract lines. The title of the series comes from the upper margin of sheet XIV-62, only one of two bearing a printed number.
Map of Siberia. Maritime Province / American Expeditionary Forces, Engineer Office. (S.l.: U.S. Army, Engineer Office, [1919?-1921?]). Manuscript maps, India ink and lead pencil, on drafting linen. Scale 1:84,000 or 1 inch to 2 verts. Filed under LC call number G7323 .P7 s84 .U5 Vault
Incomplete set of topographic cloth maps on linen prepared on behalf of the U.S. Expeditionary Forces in Siberia in 1919-21. Maps cover the Far Eastern Maritime Province (Primorskii Krai). Maps shows towns and settlements; the Far Eastern Railway line; railroad stations; post stations; roads and trails; marshes; and relief by contours and spot heights. Coverage is limited to the following sheets: no. I. West of Ussuri Sector -- no. II. Ussuri Sector -- No. III. Shmakovka Sector -- No. IV. Kawl Sector -- No. VI. Graivoronskaya Sector -- No. VII. Sviyagina Sector -- No. [L]XI. Spasskoe Sector -- No. XII. Khvalinka Sector.
Russland (Bessarabien) 1:25000 / hergestellt im Auftrage Gen. St. d. H. Abt. f. Kr. K. uVermWes. ([Berlin?]: Abt. f. Kr. K. uVermWes., ). Maps, some colored. 1:25,000. Filed under LC call number G7012 .B4 s25 .R6
Set of 455 large-scale topographic maps originally published by the Romanian Military Geographical Institute in the 1920s, but re-issued as facsimiles by the German Army ca. 1941. Maps show highways, roads, trails, and paths; double and single track railways, electric railways, and funiculars; vehicle, animal, and foot bridges; telephone and telegraph lines; windmills; rivers, streams, and dry water courses; oil wells; factories and brickworks; pubs and taverns; forests, marshlands, brush, vineyards, and hops fields; and relief by contour lines and spot heights. Sheets include legends in Romanian and German, but sheet titles in Romanian. Each sheet includes notes, index to adjoining sheets, and boundary diagram(s). Set accompanied by a graphic index.