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Donation Of Vintage Maps And Guides

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I am looking for a university or well established historical society that might be a suitable permanent repository for a substantial collection of historical road ephemera, including maps, guides, and the like. I am aware of the University of Michigan’s Lincoln Highway collection, but I don’t know of another institution that has a large and sustained interest in our highway heritage.

 

It must have the resources and commitment to make substantial parts of the collection permanently available online. Can anyone here make suggestions? (I am interested at this point in exploratoring suggestions, not in considering offers or proposals.)

 

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Are you willing to break this collection up? My experience is that state historical societies and state universities tend to have map collections, but those tend to care only about the state they're in.

 

jim

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Are you willing to break this collection up? My experience is that state historical societies and state universities tend to have map collections, but those tend to care only about the state they're in.

 

jim

 

Jim,

 

Good thoughts! Thanks.

 

I much prefer not to split it up, but it is not out of the question. A big issue for me is the stability and resources of the organization, and its capacity and willingness to make important parts of the collection accessible on line, and essentially free of charge. That is a tough requirement for most historical societies (all that I know of!).

 

I think you are also right about state universities. Washington State University in my state has a wider vision, and suffers less than some from an over inflated self image. It has one of the best on line map collections around, but not oriented toward road maps, etc.

 

Sort of an aside, but I wonder if some university has a curriculum on road history and development, not the civil engineering variety but the road travel variety.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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(snip)

 

Sort of an aside, but I wonder if some university has a curriculum on road history and development, not the civil engineering variety but the road travel variety.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

 

Dave,

 

I think your aside is the most interesting part of this question. You want Anthropological study, rather than the aforementioned Engineering Department. I for one, enjoy the Library of Congress' collection of hand-drawn Panoramic maps. But that's me.

 

I often Google the text ... "library.edu" ... then after a few days, I come up for air with a big grin on my face and a few extra creases in the old gray matter. Good times! ... Perhaps you want to try "maps library edu" and then contact your favorites from those results?

 

 

"This might seem, to the uninitiated, a close approximation to work."

... Chris

Edited by eyerobic

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Dave,

 

The American Road Foundation is working on applying for a grant to make an online library of vintage road maps and the like. This would be a fabulous donation to the Foundation and the Foundation would be honored if you would consider such a donation.

 

Christine Martens (aka Wis History Geek on the Forums) is working on the grant application process. In the interim, we could get started with such a project, but, we would need volunteers to help with the scanning and online archiving (database building, etc.). American Road magazine would be happy to cover the cost of the online storage for this project. As for housing/storing the physical guides and maps, we have connections to some transportation museums that would have suitable storage capability and I believe that one of them would partner with the American Road Foundation to maintain the collection in one repository, store, and safeguard the collection for future generations to enjoy.

 

I would love to discuss this more with you. Please feel free to email me or call me. Or let me know when you might best be reached to discuss the possibilities.

 

FYI, the American Road Foundation is planning on hosting an event in September in Joliet, Illinois (the crossroads of the Lincoln, Route 66, and, US 6). Perhaps the collection could even be displayed at this event?

 

I look forward to discussing the possibilities!

 

Best,

 

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