Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Holiday hours for the Map Collection

The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on the Fourth of July and reopen at 7:30 am on Wednesday, July 5.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Civil Rights Cartographic Resources Available from Ball State University Libraries

This Day in History:  Mississippi Murders of Civil Rights Heroes

On this day, June 21, in 1964, three civil rights workers were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi.  The top map above was published in the Atlas of African-American History by James Ciment.  It details the locations of where the civil rights workers were arrested and murdered.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized young people to employ voter registration drives in the South.  The SNCC decided to intensify their registration efforts in Mississippi in 1964.  Barely six percent of eligible African Americans were registered to vote.  (See map above from Atlas of African-American History—click to enlarge).  The plan for the voter registration drive was called “Freedom Summer.”

Hundreds of young African Americans were taught to register voters locally, and the SNCC organized white college students from the North to assist.  According to Ciment, “The presence of whites would draw national press attention and provide a modicum of protection to the black organizers.” 

The national press did cover the efforts during Freedom Summer, but the violence continued.  During the drives, there were “more than one thousand arrests, 80 beatings by white mobs, and 67 bombings of black homes and churches.”

One June 21, three SNCC volunteers—two whites from the North named Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwermer, along with James Chaney, a local African American—were sent out to investigate the bombing of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Arrested and held for several hours for alleged traffic violations, the three were released that evening, only to disappear.  For six weeks, state and federal authorities conducted a massive search for the three, which ended in the discovery of their bodies buried in a nearby earthen dam.  Autopsies revealed Goodman and Schwermer were killed by a single bullet; Chaney had been beaten to death.

The murders of the young men caused national outrage, and the FBI conducted an investigation.  The federal government arrested 18 people involved in the murders, but only seven were convicted with minor sentences.  However, in 2005, former KKK leader Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter for the murders and sentenced to the maximum of 60 years in prison.

The murders were depicted in the Oscar-winning film “Mississippi Burning” starring Gene Hackman.  Most importantly, more than 80,000 black Mississippians registered to vote and joined the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party led by Fannie Lou Hamer.  Note the map above showing the number of registered voters in 1970 compared to the map from 1964.

Atlas of African-American History is available for circulation from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) also includes maps and other cartographic resources detailing important events in the civil rights movement, including a custom map about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, and race riots. Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for use in education, research, and exhibits.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#JawsTaughtUs Shark Maps at Ball State University Libraries

This Day in History:  Jaws

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) “Map of the Month” for June 2017 is a map called “June-things.”  The map features important events in world history that took place in June.  The map includes historical events like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Battle of Little Bighorn, and Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.  But the map also includes entertainment events like the debut of Superman in a comic book, Secretariat winning the Triple Crown, and movie releases like “Grease” and “Jaws.”

From the map:  “Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Jaws’ was released on June 20, 1975—a classic summer blockbuster.  The movie became the highest-grossing film of all time until ‘Star Wars’ in 1977.”

The GRMC also includes a map of shark attacks along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of the United States.  “Shark Attacks” was published by Sealake Products in 2006.  The map identifies the locations of hundreds of shark attacks and includes descriptive and historical notes about the most tragic attacks of the last century.  Photographs and diagrams of sharks are also included on the map.  (The book, “Jaws,” takes place in Amity on Long Island in New York, but the movie was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts).

The “Map of the Month” can be viewed in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 20 is World Refugee Day

#WithRefugees Maps for World Refugee Day

According to the United Nations, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, and terror.  Nearly 66 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes last year as refugees. 

A refugee is someone who fled his or her home country to escape a natural or man-made disaster, and June 20 is commemorated as “World Refugee Day” by the United Nations.

“Every year on June 20th, we commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees.  This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.”  People can sign the #WithRefugees petition to express solidarity.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to the latest cartographic resources depicting a number of current events and social topics that may be used for research and learning.  Maps and atlases provide visual representations of global issues like refugees.  The GRMC collects the latest cartographic resources in the news and provides digital access to these cartographic visual aids for students and others writing research papers or researching social topics.

Business Insider published “mesmerizing maps” (above click to enlarge) created by Earth TimeLapse that show where refugees are leaving and arriving.  The data for the maps was provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Each red dot represents 17 refugees arriving in a country, while yellow dots identify the home countries refugees are leaving.  The maps highlight the war-torn areas of the world from 2000 with the flow of refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, and Sudan to 2015 and the height of the Syrian crisis.

The New York Times regularly publishes maps covering current events.  A satellite map of Syria in 2012 (above) with the lights of major cities is compared to the same area in 2014 where many cities have been destroyed from the civil war.  The Times also created maps showing the European countries accepting refugees and a map of the United States showing where Syrian refugees were located from 2012 to 2015.

Some of the maps offer editorial views of the refugee crisis.  Forbes published a map identifying majority-Muslim countries with business ties to Trump businesses alongside majority-Muslim countries affected by the Trump “travel ban.”

The GRMC scours news sites to provide research assistance and access to the latest cartographic resources.  For more information about using maps as visual aids in research and creative writing, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Civil Rights Maps in the News

Today in History:  Civil Rights on the Map

On June 19, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was approved by the Senate by a vote of 73-27, following a long filibuster by Senators Russell of Georgia and Byrd of West Virginia.  The bill passed in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964.

The map above (click to enlarge) identifies the votes in the House of Representatives—green denotes a vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act, and red identifies the nay votes.  This map was published in the atlas Mapping America’s Past by Henry Holt available from Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).  A description of the vote from the atlas details a little-known amendment added to the bill by the opposition:

Howard W. Smith, a Virginia Democrat, led the opposition.  When it became evident that the bill would pass, he slyly proposed an amendment that, in addition to barring discrimination in employment on account of race or religious beliefs, would also prohibit it on account of gender.  Smith hoped that the amendment, which threatened to transform almost every workplace in the nation, would cause moderate and conservative Republicans to vote against the entire bill.  As the bill’s managers scrambled to squash the Smith amendment, a bipartisan group of women representatives declared their support for what they called ‘this little crumb of equality.’  The bill’s supporters, after hastily rethinking the political consequences of opposing women’s rights, meekly endorsed the amendment.

To Smith’s chagrin, the Civil Rights bill—including his women’s rights plank—passed by a vote of 290 to 138….152 Democrats voted for the bill, only a handful of them from the South.  But almost as many Republicans (138) supported the bill….The bill also received strong bipartisan support in the Senate, which for the first time ever terminated a filibuster on civil rights legislation.

Both Republicans and Democrats from Indiana voted in unanimous support for the bill, as did representatives from Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.

With the passage of Civil Rights legislation, the publication of the famous “Green Books” ended.  The Negro Travelers’ Green Book was published by Victor Green beginning in 1936 and ending in 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act.  These guide books listed restaurants, hotels, and other services that were available for Blacks when traveling across the country during the era of Jim Crow laws.

The New York Public Library has a collection of the books available from their Digital Collections.  And the University of South Carolina has an interactive online map based on the establishments listed in the 1956 book.  The GRMC used this edition of the book to create a map marking the locations of the cities in Indiana that had at least one restaurant, hotel, or other business listed in the Green Book, a little known part of American history.  (Photographs from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository were included on the map).

The map is available in digital format from the Ball State University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar and the GRMC teacher resources files under “Indiana history maps for displays.”  A Missouri version of the map is also available for download, and a map about the civil rights movement in Indiana is also included. 

Maps and atlases from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Large-format plotter printing of maps and other resources is also available to members of the BSU community.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

ESRI Story Map Celebrates the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Celebrating Classic American Architecture with Maps

June 8 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honoring Wright’s designs with a commemorative ESRI Story Map.

The Story Map was created using the popular ESRI GIS software.  The map allows users to explore buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The buildings are categorized by date—1910 and before, 1911 to 1942, after 1945, and buildings that are lost or never built (which included a doghouse). 

Users can click on the locations on the map to see a description of the buildings, which includes Samara House in West Lafayette, Indiana (above).  Wright built the home between 1954 and 1956.  Wright noticed samara plants on a site visit and included the winged, chevron shape of the fruit into the design of the house.  The home is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Landmarks in Indiana.

Users can also tour the Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, Virginia.  The home was built in 1939 and is operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  This home includes the unique, simple designs made popular by Wright including clerestory windows for unobstructed views, built-in shelves, and cantilevered roof.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library provides access to the latest GIS software from ESRI and assistance from the GIS Specialist.  Computers throughout Bracken Library and the Architecture Library also offer access to GIS software.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Maps of Salem, Massachusetts Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Historic Salem, Massachusetts

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) houses over 140,000 maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The collection includes historic and modern maps of places around the world and may be used for research and learning.

The GRMC includes a variety of maps depicting the historic town of Salem, Massachusetts.  Best of Salem, Massachusetts map (top, click to enlarge) includes a visitor map with the Heritage Walking Trail depicted in shading.  The verso includes an inset map of the general area near Salem and a business directory.

Historic Salem Massachusetts was published by the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The map identifies points of interest and information about the Salem Witch Museum.  The verso of the map includes photographs of the important places during the Salem witch trials like The Burying Point, the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, and the Salem Witch Museum.

Maps from the GRMC may be borrowed for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

London Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: London

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a large collection of maps and other cartographic resources of London, England.  The collection features original historic maps published by the Ordnance Survey (Britain’s mapping agency) and the U.S. Army Map Service as well as modern maps and travel guides.

The GRMC also has reproductions of historic maps of London.  London in the Time of King Henry V, 1413-1422 (above, click to enlarge) includes the principal streets and buildings in the city with the major streets, bridges, and buildings of today shown with shading.

Londinvm Redivivvm: Presented by Me to His Majesty, a Week After the Conflagration is a reproduction of a set of maps created by Sir Christopher Wren and John Evelyn after the 1666 fire in London.  The map was presented as a plan to rebuild the city for King Charles II upon his return to the throne in 1661.

A Prospect of London from the West was published in 1989 by Jamshid Kooros.  The map was created in the style of the maps of Christopher Wren.     

Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for two weeks or longer, and use for classroom exhibits may be accommodated.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

D-Day Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping History:  The Cartography of D-Day

Allied Forces invaded the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes several original maps and historical reproductions that depict the D-Day invasion.

The top map is an inset map from a Michelin map published in 1947 available from the GRMC that details the military actions of that day.  The map is printed in English and French. 

The GRMC also includes several maps produced by the Office of Strategic Services (intelligence agency) and the Army Map Service in preparation for the invasion.  This set of maps shows the locations of roads, railroads, ports, and other important sites.  The map of Northwest Normandy (above, click to enlarge) identifies the roads in the area of the invasion.  Even the creation of these maps was top secret as to not give the enemy any clues to where the invasion by Allied Forces of mainland Europe would occur.

The Army Information Branch in New York also published newspaper-type maps during World War II, and the GRMC includes several of these “Newsmaps.”  The photographs above from these maps show American and Canadian troops landing on the beaches of Normandy—Canadians with bicycles.  These photographs were included in the “Newsmap” published for the week of June 8, 1944.

The GRMC also includes a reproduction map of a reconnaissance aerial photograph of troops landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  Landing craft can be seen along the beach, and reinforced German lines are shown at the top of the map.

The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign is also available from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The atlas was written by Charles Messenger in 2004 and includes maps and images from the D-Day invasion.  The Atlas Collection also includes Atlas of Special Operations of World War II, Military Atlas of World War II, U.S. Army Atlas of the European Theater in World War II, and Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich.

The bottom image is a map featured in The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won by Stephen Ambrose.  This book is available from Educational Technology and Resources in the lower level of Bracken Library.

These historical maps and resources may be borrowed for classroom research or exhibits.  All maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please visit or contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 7:30 to 4:30 pm on the second floor of Bracken Library.