Librarians love stories like this. A real estate agent is engaged to clear the junk out of an old house so that it can be sold. What does he find? Thousands upon thousands and more thousands of maps. Maps stashed EVERYWHERE in the house, “stuffed in file cabinets, crammed into cardboard boxes, lined up on closet shelves and jammed into old dairy crates.”
He can’t bear to just throw this amazing collection away, so he calls the local map librarian, having recently and fortuitously read an article in the Los Angeles Times about the city library’s map collection. Said the librarian, once he had seen the maps himself: “This dwarfs our collection – and we’ve been collecting for 100 years.”
It took 10 people several hours to box up the entire collection and haul it away. It’s expected to take over a year to catalog the collection, and in the end, it will give the Los Angeles Public Library one of the country’s top map collections, right after the Library of Congress, and public libraries in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, according to the librarian.
I might not have taken the trouble to blog about this interesting story here, if one of the pictures hadn’t been of an old Tacoma, Washington street map, which provides a tiny bit of local color to the story. Read the entire story of the incredible find in this Los Angeles Times article.