Housed on the third floor of the Main Library, the Map Collection contains more than 250,000 sheet maps, including maps issued by city, county, state and national governments, international organizations, and a variety of commercial publishers. The collection is international in scope and covers a roughly 800 year period of publishing history.

Rare maps include pre-1900 maps of Iowa, fire insurance maps for more than 1,000 Iowa cities from the 1870s through the 1930s, captured Japanese and German maps from World War II, and a growing collection of pre-1900 world and celestial maps and atlases. The Map Collection also contains over 150,000 aerial photographs of Iowa and over 5,000 gazetteers, atlases, and reference sources concerning maps and cartography.