Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When Old Maps are New

It's always fun when you find that old trunk in the attic, isn't it? Usually, though, the expectations of what could be inside far exceed the reality of mothballs and mildewy clothes. That wasn't the case at Brown University:

... a trio of Brown University librarians...recently opened the equivalent of a great-grandmother’s long-neglected chest in an attic at the John Hay Library and uncovered a treasure trove of maps — some older than 400 years — that open a window into a wide sweep of United States and world history.

“We knew we had some significant maps but we had never cataloged them in a way that was modern and up to date,” says Sam Streit, associate university librarian for scholarly resources. Brown is in the middle of a project that will allow researchers to view the maps over the Internet.

While the university’s interest is in helping scholarly researchers, a sampling of the maps will be shown to the public. The exhibit is running at the Hay Library from March 26 to April 25. The exhibit will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and is free and open to the public.

The library also has a link to the story, and includes a contact point for info.

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