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Navigating Research at the Map Division: Getting Started at the New York Public Library: About

Learn methods and strategies, to search for maps at NYPL's Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.


This guide is designed to help you start your research with maps in the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division. Here, you will learn how to:

  • to use maps in your research
  • to find maps at NYPL
  • to utilize digital resources 
  • tips and strategies in searching our catalogs

Need assistance? Contact us!

If you have any questions about our collection or inquiries related to your research, please email us at

You can make a virtual consultation with our reference librarians to talk about your research and formulate next steps. Click here to make a virtual consultation appointment.

For certain cartographic items in the Map Division, you will need to register for a NYPL Special Collections account. With this account, you can request cartographic materials to view in advance of your visit. 

To do so, you can visit the Online Research Catalog to search for collections and use the “Request Appointment” or “Request to Use On-Site” buttons to make your requests. If an item does not have either button, please contact 

If you are requesting materials specifically from the printed Dictionary Catalog, please use your Special Collections account to fill out this specific form.  

Who are we?

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division


The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division is one of the world’s premier map collections in terms of size, scope, unique holdings, diversity and intensity of use. Established in 1898, our holdings include more than 433,000 sheet maps and 20,000 books and atlases published between the 16th and 21st centuries. The collections range from the global to the local scale and support the learning and research needs of a wide variety of users. 


Why maps?

Maps are utilized across numerous disciplines and can be effectively cross-referenced with other material types (i.e. archives, photos, street directories). If you fall into one of the categories below, you most likely have used, or will be using, a map at some point!

who uses a map chart

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Reference Librarians

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Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Reference Librarians
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
First Floor , Room 117
New York, NY 10018
(212) 930-0587

Apply for a Library Card

NYPL Library Card

Apply for a NYPL Library Card by clicking here!

With your card, you can:

  • make advance requests to see maps from the Map Division
  • make appointments or virtual consultation requests
  • use our databases

Please note that you do not need to live in New York City to receive a card!