Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cartographic Subject Guides Now Available from Ball State University Libraries

Cartographic Subject Guides Now Available on University Libraries Web Page

University Libraries preserves a wealth of valuable cartographic resources on various topics. Now researchers can access cartographic subject guides on the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection Web page. At under “Maps and Atlases,” review a complete listing of maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources listed by subject.

These guides provide information about resources in the GRMC and Atlas Collection, but also the Archives and Special Collections, Educational Resources Collections, Government Publications, the Architecture Library, and the reference and general collections. Some of the guides include African-American, Native American, women’s studies, and English/Literature cartographic resources. The guides will be frequently updated, so check the list regularly.

For more information about the guides or to research cartographic resources about a specific subject, contact the GRMC staff.

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection in the Classroom or as the Classroom

Back to School with the GRMC

Faculty and community groups are encouraged to use the resources of the University Libraries Geospatial Resources & Map Collection in the classroom or as a classroom for research and learning. The GRMC will create an instruction session tailored to the needs of students on such topics as finding and using maps, types of maps and their use, sources for locating geospatial data, and tools for researching geographical information.

Class assignments requiring the use of the GRMC or any part of its resources are encouraged. Materials from the Collection may be used in a special study area of the GRMC, and faculty may reserve maps when an entire class will be using the materials. The special use of certain materials in the classroom for up to a semester at a time may also be coordinated.

The GRMC Web page can be accessed at On the GRMC Web page under the “Maps and Atlases” section, click on “Online GRMC Map Tutorials” to find a list of maps tutorials to use in the classroom. Kindergarten through secondary teachers of various subjects can access online lesson plans using cartographic resources using the tutorial, Teaching with Maps: Lesson Plan Guide from the GRMC. Social studies teachers can also review the tutorial, Using Maps and Atlases in Social Studies Lessons.

The GRMC Web page also features online GIS tutorials under the GIS section. These tutorials provide an introduction to using GIS software, using U.S. Census data, and using Google Maps and Google Earth.

Orientation tours of the GRMC for school and community groups may also be arranged. Small-group presentations can also be accommodated in the GRMC or at another venue.

To request an instruction or orientation session, please complete the “Request for GRMC Instructional Session” form under the “Instruction/Workshops” sections of the GRMC Web page or contact the GRMC directly at 765/285-1097.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic and Republican National Conventions Sites Maps in University Libraries

2008 National Conventions Maps Exhibit in University Libraries

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library is featuring a special map exhibit for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The exhibit displays maps of Denver, Colorado, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

The map of Denver shows an outline view of the Pepsi Center, where delegates will meet, and INVESCO Field at Mile High, where Senator Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The map of downtown St. Paul shows the location of the Republican National Convention at Xcel Energy Center.

Both maps are available for circulation from the “ready reference” section of the GRMC. Maps circulate for two weeks or longer.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Historic Map of Hungary in the Ball State University Libraries

Historic Map of World War I-Era Hungary Available in the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection

The Ball State University Libraries Geospatial Resources and Map Collection was enriched over the years with 25,000 maps and 2,000 atlases acquired through a special Library of Congress program due to the participation of the now retired map librarian, Paul W. Stout. Stout participated in six of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Special Summer projects—each lasting six weeks—between 1977 and 1996. These maps are valuable—sometimes historically significant—resources that can be used to enhance research and learning for Ball State University students and faculty.

The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Special Summer Project was developed in 1951 to employ the use of interns to process the backlog of maps that the Division received from federal libraries and government mapping agencies after World War II. Ball State University Libraries was one of the many institutions to sponsor a participant in the program over the years. In exchange for their work, participants were able to select duplicate maps and atlases from the Library’s stock and send them back to their sponsoring libraries.

During a four-hour selection period in the 1983 Special Summer Project, Stout discovered two maps he suspected were not duplicates. The maps were of the Hungarian portion of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire dated 1919. One of the maps had specific notations indicating it had been used at the Peace Conference in Versailles, France following World War I. Stout remembers reading “American Commission to Negotiate Peace” stamped on the map. (The Treaty of Trianon was organized as part of the Peace Conference at Versailles in order to determine the borders of Hungary and was signed in June of 1920, so the American delegation may have used these maps as a resource for the peace negotiations).

Stout quickly showed the two maps to the Chief of the Geography and Map Division. The chief thanked Stout and immediately took away the maps. However, to Stout’s surprise, the un-annotated map was returned to him an hour later. Stout did not take the time to record information about the other annotated map because he was preoccupied with selecting as many maps as possible for the BSU Collection. Stout also noted that he did not ask the Division Chief for details “because I thought he might decide he wanted back the second Hungarian map.”

Stout recalled both maps having identical ownership stamps—first belonging to the U.S. State Department in 1919 then transferred to the Central Intelligence Agency in 1949. The map measures over six feet by almost ten feet in size. The title of the Ball State map is Ethnographical Map of Hungary—Colonization and Population by S. Batky and Ch. Kogutowicz dated 1919. The map states “designed by order of the Foreign Ministry of the Hungarian Republic.” The map shows the areas where ethnic Hungarians were predominant. This information was one of the criteria for the negotiations used by the Americans at the treaty. Based on circumstantial evidence, Stout believes this map was used by the American Delegation to Negotiate Peace in preparation for the determination of Hungarian territory.

Paul related the story of the map to Melissa Gentry of the GRMC and Steve Duecker, Information Services Librarian, so the two began to research the history of the map. Duecker was intrigued: “I thought it would be interesting to see what could be found to verify that this map was used by the American delegation to determine the border of Hungary.” Gentry contacted Cynthia Smith of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. Smith provided photocopies of annotations from similar maps of Hungary dated 1919, so one of these maps may have been the second map retrieved by the Division Chief from Stout during the special program. Duecker, however, could not locate a record of the map in the listings for the Library of Congress.

Research indicated that two other libraries are listed in WorldCat as owning this map—the London Library and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The American Geographical Society (AGS) and the Library of Congress were the only major map research collections in 1919. The AGS collection was moved to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1982. Dr. Isaiah Bowman of the Society was a participant in the Peace Conference at Versailles, and the cataloging records for a number of the AGS-UWM maps are annotated “loaned by the American Geographical Society to the Peace Conference at Versailles, 1918-1919.” The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee cataloging record for the 1919 map of Hungary contains no notes that their copy was at Versailles. Stout claims, “I think it is plausible that our copy of the map, owned by the U.S. State Department in 1919 was at the Peace Conference following World War I.”

Duecker added that researching the story of this map only fueled his interest in other maps in the Collection. “I knew that University Libraries had an interesting collection of maps. Paul’s love of maps is infectious, and this inspires me to learn more about other maps in our Collection.” The map of Hungary will be on display in the GRMC and is available for historical research and as a learning resource.

Please contact the GRMC at 765/285-1097 for more information.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guide to Finding Sanborn Insurance Maps in University Libraries

Guide to Finding Insurance Maps in University Libraries on GRMC Web Page

University Libraries contains a large collection of cartographic resources for education and learning. The collection's most notable maps of cities and towns known for giving detailed, accurate information about the history of buildings and other structures are the Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps.

Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps are an ideal source of information about the structure and use of buildings. Sanborn maps consist of a uniform series of large-scale (one inch=50 feet), detailed maps depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of cities. The maps were produced by the Sanborn Company beginning in 1867 and were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property.

Researchers can now access a finding guide for Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps in University Libraries on the GRMC Web page. This guide identifies the location of the various maps throughout the Library—either in the GRMC, Archives and Special Collections, Microforms, or through the Digital Media Repository.

The guide is available on the GRMC Web page at

The GRMC Web page also includes an online tutorial for using the Sanborn maps under “Online GRMC Map Tutorials.”

Educators Can Access Online Lesson Plans Using Maps from the GRMC

Just in Time for Back to School: Teachers Can Access Online Lesson Plans Using Maps from the GRMC

Elementary through high school teachers planning lessons can find creative ways to use maps when teaching history, geography, economics, sociology, science, and even English/literature. The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection in Bracken Library has created an online guide for using maps in the K-12 classroom available on the GRMC Web page under Online GRMC Map Tutorials. The guide, Teaching with Maps, can also be found directly at,,54747--,00.html

This online guide provides ideas for using maps and atlases from the GRMC for young children through high school students. Teachers can learn how to teach their students how to create their own custom maps of their rooms at home or of a treasure island. High school students create maps of famous people and inventions from Canada. Ideas are given for using topographic and insurance maps to study how large cities have grown over time. Middle school students use a map of South America to create a picture book about the Amazon rain forest. Students can even learn world geography and sociology studying soccer, surfing, and the Olympics. And teachers can even assign seats for their seating charts using latitude and longitude coordinates.

One unique feature of this online guide is that individual lesson plans are available as PDF files that may be printed off for the classroom. The lesson plans are saved as World Shared files accessible to teachers anywhere.

Maps from the GRMC can be borrowed by teachers or classes can visit the GRMC to use the maps and atlases. For more information about using maps in the classroom, please contact Melissa Gentry in the GRMC at 765/285-1097 or at

Maps of Arches National Park Reveal Former Wall Arch

Maps in the News: Maps of Arches National Park in Ball State University Libraries GRMC

One of the largest and most photographed arch formations in Arches National Park in Utah collapsed due to erosion and gravity. The arch is along the Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park, and is called the “Wall Arch.”

This arch is shown on this topographic map of the area from the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection. The name of the quadrant map is Mollie Hogans, Utah. The GRMC also has maps of the entire Arches National Park.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.

Maps of Georgia and South Ossetia in the Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Maps of Georgia and South Ossetia in the Ball State University Libraries Map Collection

The Russian military advanced into Georgia today from the two breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian forces were reportedly moving into the central Georgia city of Gori (shown above just below the red border). The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection in Bracken Library contains a collection of maps of Georgia, its capital city Tbilisi, and the Russian Federation.

The map shown above is part of a 2006 tourist map of Georgia, “Georgia: A Fabulous Surprise.” A red and black border forms the border of South Ossetia on the map shown. This border also separates Abkhazia on the map. The map key explains this distinct border: “At the time of printing, these regions are not under the control of the central government. Thus, traveling to these regions is not advisable.”

The 2007 International Travel Map of Georgia in the GRMC includes a map of historical regions. A map of Tbilisi on the verso includes a map of the subway system and an index of architectural monuments of special interest. This map is printed in English, German, and Georgian. Another 2006 map in the GRMC published in 2006 shows relief of Tbilisi and Georgia.

Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan is available in the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library. This atlas is listed as the “first comprehensive guide to the South Caucasus.” The book includes regional facts, maps of mountains, maps of Tbilisi, and information about languages.

Sak’art’velos Geograp’iuli Atlasi is an atlas of Georgia written in Georgian. This atlas was published in 2006 and is available in the Atlas Collection. The Atlas of Russia and Independent Republics is also available in the Atlas Collection. This atlas includes maps of Georgia, with history, population figures, and information about the communication networks.

For more information about these maps and atlases, please contact the staff of the GRMC from Monday through Friday at 765/285-1097.