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John R. Borchert Map Library

"In a period of intellectual flux, when geography seems tempted to follow nongeographical sirens of transient glamour, John Borchert always manages to anchor the discipline's sense of identity on the rock of cartographic information." Yi-Fu Tuan

Regents’ Professor John R. Borchert was a University of Minnesota geography faculty member from 1949 to 1989. He died March 30, 2001 after an extraordinary life of scientific study, teaching and travel dedicated to the understanding and advancement of our community and world. We remember him with admiration and respect as a great scholar.

More information about Professor Borchert.

***Effective Tuesday, September 4, 2018: Map Library Regular Semester Hours Changing -- new hours will be Monday-Friday, 9am - 5pm; closed weekends and official University Holidays***


Interested in digitized versions of our maps? Check out what is available at UMedia!

Campus History Web Application

Use the map to explore 150 years of growth by viewing building footprints, aerial imagery and historic maps. The Campus History map is a collaboration between the John R. Borchert Map Library and the University Archives.


Archives and Special Collections Web Pages

Archives and Special Collections (“ASC”) is home to the University of Minnesota’s collections of rare books, personal papers and organizational archives. Materials in ASC, often called Primary Sources, include letters, diaries, organizational and business records, drafts of literary works, drawings, artifacts, maps, posters, old or rare books, photographs, architectural plans, audio visual recordings, and electronic records, to name just a few.

ASC is composed of individual archives and libraries (“ASC units”), each focusing on a specific subject area:

Andersen Horticultural Library
The Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature
Charles Babbage Institute
Children's Literature Research Collections
Immigration History Research Center Archives
James Ford Bell Library
Kautz Family YMCA Archives
Literary Manuscripts Collections
Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives
Northwest Architectural Archives
Performing Arts Archives
Rare Books and Special Collections
Sherlock Holmes Collections
Social Welfare History Archives
The Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
University of Minnesota Archives
Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine
The following department has been reorganized:
Special Collections and Rare Books Please use the links above to to connect to former Special Collections and Rare Books libraries.

Visiting the Archives

Most of the Archives and Special Collections units located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library are on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota. The University campus is approximately one mile from downtown Minneapolis and eight miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. There are nearby stops for city buses, airport hotel shuttles, and light rail. There is a pay parking lot next to the library and parking ramps within 1-3 blocks.
For Libraries not in Andersen, check here
Getting to our building (E. L. Andersen Library) 222 – 21st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55455 We have found that many GPS units do not accurately place our building on their maps. These are very clear maps with excellent driving directions. Map and Directions to Andersen Library (PDF) (use these directions for small deliveries and passenger drop-off) Delivery Truck Driving Directions to the Andersen/MLAC Loading Dock (PDF) (use these directions for large deliveries)

Parking Link to a Map and Directions for Andersen Parking For further parking information, call: University of Minnesota Parking Services: 612-626-PARK

Elmer L. Andersen Library building hours The building is open 8-4:30 Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 8-7:00 Wednesday and Thursday. Hours for individual units may vary.

Archives and Special Collections Reading Room Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Check with individual Archives and Special Collections libraries for office hours.

Libraries not in the Elmer L. Andersen Library building:

The James Ford Bell Library The Bell Library is located on the 4th floor of Wilson Library on the west bank University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. 309-19th Av So, Suite 472, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (See the campus map link above for more detailed information.) Note: Don’t confuse with the Bell Museum, which is on the east bank!

Andersen Horticultural Library The Andersen Horticultural Library is located off-campus at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota. The Library is housed on the main floor of the Leon C. Snyder Building. Andersen Horticultural Library University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 3675 Arboretum Drive Chaska, MN 55318 ( 612) 301-1239 Map and driving directions to the Andersen Horticultural Library

Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine The Wangensteen Historical Library is located on the Twin Cities Campus, in 568 Diehl Hall on the East Bank. (See the campus map above for more detailed information.)

Public Transportation/other transportation To/From Airport: Airport shuttle services (this links to SuperShuttle) provide transport to and from most hotels for about $16.00 one way ($25-30 round trip). The Holiday Inn Metrodome, only 2 blocks away, is often a convenient dropoff/pickup point for people, as is the Mondale Law Building. Taxi fare is about $25-30. See below for information about light-rail service to and from the airport.
Metro Transit Bus or Light Rail ______________________________________________________________________________

Using materials in the Reading Room

Use of archival and special collections materials is freely granted to all responsible researchers, subject to the following regulations and procedures, to ensure that the materials are protected from deterioration, mutilation, or loss.

Policies and procedures for using materials in Archives & Special Collections

  1. Complete a registration form and get an orientation about the use of materials in the reading room.
  2. Food and beverages are not allowed in the reading room.
  3. Camera bags, purses, laptop sleeves, briefcases, backpacks, large notebooks, and bags of any kind are not allowed in the reading room and must go in a locker. Outerwear must be left in a locker. Lockers cost a quarter, which will be returned to you when you open the locker.
  4. You may bring a small amount of paper, small notebook, pencils, computers, camera, and small valuables (cell phone, small wallet) into the reading room.
  5. Sign in at the Reading Room monitor's desk. You will get a badge that must be worn while in the building.
  6. Materials cannot be checked out and must be used in the reading room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members. Depending on the type of materials you request, you will fill out a separate slip for each book, serial, newspaper, box (or range of boxes) or other items you wish to see.
  7. Do not take any materials from the collections out of the Reading Room. When you have finished using the materials, put them back in the box. If you were assigned a cart, please return your box your cart.
  8. Use one box at a time and remove only one folder from the box at a time. Use an out-card to mark the folder position within the box. out cards are available on the Reading Room desks or from the monitor.
  9. Please handle all items carefully. Materials must not be written on, fastened together, or altered in any way. Keep the original order of file folders in boxes and items within folders. If you find problems with the condition or arrangement of materials, bring them to the attention of the curator.
  10. Materials that are fragile or rare may need special handling. Staff will explain how to handle the items.
  11. Use only pencils to take notes; no pens are allowed in the Reading Room.
  12. Check with staff to see if you are allowed to photograph documents. If photography is allowed with the materials you are using, please turn off the camera sounds and flash.
  13. A staff member will show you how to use of equipment for microform or video/sound recordings. There may be time limits on the use of equipment to permit other researchers access to the machines.
  14. Phone conversations are not permitted in the reading room. Please set cell phones to silent and take all calls in the hallway.
  15. People working in groups should contact staff before their appointment to see if separate research space is available. Groups working in the Reading Room should go into the hall to have a conversation.
  16. The last box retrieval of the day is at 3:30. The reading room and all building offices close at 4:30.
  17. When you leave for the day, sign out and return your visitor badge to the monitor.

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Search the Collections

Finding aids are online guides to selected historical records and papers in the Archives and Special Collections.

More about Finding Aids at the University Libraries

Digitized images from the University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections are available through the UMedia Archive.

Search for cataloged books, journals, and records from the University Libraries

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The Digital Conservancy is the "digital arm" of the University Archives and provides access to digital scholarly and administrative records of the University of Minnesota.

Learn more about the Digital Conservancy.