About the Map Collection
The Map Collection Catalogue contains over 15,000 descriptions of maps relating to the exploration, settlement and development of Western Canada, with an emphasis on Calgary and southern Alberta. Although most items in the Library collection have not been scanned, they may be accessed in various ways.
To do a wildcard search use "*" at the end of a string of letters. Example: "min*" will find mines, mining, minerals, etc.
To narrow a search (boolean "and") use "&" between the search terms. Example: "irrigation & Alberta" " will find records relating to irrigation in Alberta.
To broaden a search (boolean "or") use "/" between the search terms. Example: "oil / gas / petroleum" will find records in which one of these terms occurs.
To search for one term but not another use "!" between the search terms. Example: "trade ! tourist" will find records related to other forms of trade but not the tourist trade.
To search by map author (creator) or publisher: remember that computers are absolutely literal! For more successful searching, simplify. Even if you know an author's or publisher's complete name, if it was entered differently in the database, the computer will not be able to make a match. Try just entering one word from the name or a truncated version of the name (eg. "Arrowsmith" to find maps created by John Arrowsmith, or "Cummins" to find rural directories published by the Cummins Map Co.). You may wish to use the ampersand "&" (and) to link two parts of a name for more efficient searching (eg. "Pacific & Railway" to find maps produced by the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
To search by subject: if you are not finding records related to your topic, you may be using terms not entered into the computer. Try using different words to describe the topic, experimenting with broader or narrower terms until you get a hit. Then take a look at the resulting list, find an entry which appears to cover your topic, and click on it to reveal the subject headings used to describe it. Then try these headings in the subject query box to search for other books described similarly.