This initial version of the website includes digital images of approximately 200 maps from the Library’s collections. Our plans are to add more maps as they are scanned. These digital files are accessible through “zoomify.” The site also includes virtual tours of two past exhibitions, and a Map of the Month and a Maps in the News feature. The former will be updated monthly, while the second will be updated quarterly. The virtual tours and Maps in the News include educational suggestions for teachers at the K-12 levels.
In October 2003, I mentioned the BPL’s efforts to do something with their 350,000-map collection that had previously been more or less gathering dust. Much has happened since: the Leventhal Center was launched in July 2004 and hired Grim as its curator in January 2005. However, the collection was also frequently visited by Forbes Smiley: 10 maps were reported missing at the BPL after his arrest, but, according to court documents, he admitted to taking a total of 34 maps from the Library.