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The University map collection is the largest in the North West and comprises approximately 150,000 printed map sheets and 1,300 atlases. The collection offers an extensive range of topographic and thematic mapping for the UK, as well as wide-ranging coverage for the rest of the world. Historical mapping of the North West, generally, and Greater Manchester in particular, is excellent. The university's rare book collection includes 500 atlases, early manuscript maps and county maps. Special collections include the Manchester Geographical Society book and atlas collection and the Mills collection of 16th-19th century maps. The collection provides a rich resource for many disciplines including; geography, earth sciences, architecture, planning, sociology, visual arts, and politics as well those interested in examining the development of Manchester's vibrant history.