1. Start your search in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog <www.loc.gov/pictures>, which points to about 95 percent of the LOC’s total collection—whether digitized or not. The basic search finds your terms in any part of an item description. Try a variety of keywords, such as surnames, places, street names, ethnicities, military units, schools, employers, social clubs, etc. You can use wildcard characters, including ? (to replace a single unknown character) and * (to replace multiple letters within or at the end of a word). Don’t put phrases in quotes.
1. Nearly 14,000 digital map images are among 400,000 items listed in the LOC’s Geography and Map Division online catalog (which is still a fraction of the 5.5 million maps and 80,000 atlases the LOC holds). Start your search at <www.loc.gov/maps> (note that Maps is automatically selected as the format next to the main search box).
2. When you follow on a search result, take a minute to look over the information about the map. You’ll learn when it was published, by whom and for what purpose. Clicking on any of the linked terms in the gray box at the top will run a search for that term.