Currently viewing the tag: "Maps"

Today in Herpetology for a change of pace, we decided to take a side trip to the map room. Needless to say we found some maps. Big maps, small maps, old maps, new maps, sketch maps, maps in Spanish, black and white maps, color maps, relief maps and even some hand drawn maps. As you can see by picture above, one map was almost bigger than Marilyn!!

The maps spanned the entire world including every continent as well as countries, states, counties, cities, townships and even some maps of remote locations where the herpetologists found and marked specific specimens.

Most of the maps were in good condition. All are kept in map drawers and many are separated with acid-free paper. Some of the older maps are brittle and ripping. The following map is of Arizona which a herpetologist who happened to pass by estimated it was from the 1930s.

We did find some maps that were laminated. We we wondering if that may be a good solution for the older maps that are falling apart. Are these maps too fragile for the laminating process?

So far we have estimated over 2000 maps in this collection and that does not include a locked cabinet we can not get into yet. Among this collection are also many items that are not maps and should probably not be in this room but more on that later….

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Today is our last day in the Paleontology archives. We started the morning with another tour with Bob Evander, checking out hidden collections among the specimens. We also came across this awesome giant sloth!

We’ve finished wrapping up all the loose ends for Phase 1 and 2 and have labeled all the collections. At some point, the hidden collections will have to be included but we took pictures of all the locations so that can be finished at a later point. Also the new collections that we created will need to be added to the finding aid. VPA collection numbers also need to be integrated into the existing finding aid. During our risk assessment, we did a basic overview of the map collection, but it’s clear that additional work on this collection would be helpful to the department, there are about 3,000 maps. The intention is for it the maps to be an ongoing project. We also have one collection of totally unprocessed material which we did a basic catalog record for, eventually it will hopefully be processed.

We really enjoyed our summer here at the museum and feel that we have learned a lot about how an archives works, creating new collections, and conducting risk assessment.

Today in Anthropology I worked with Lauren to complete the risk assessment in Location II. There were only about 10 collections left in this location, and fortunately they were fairly large and generally only 1 or 2 collection units. We finished the risk assessment in this location before lunch, and moved on to the map case in the Anthropology hallway after lunch. Our favorite find from Location II today was this floor plan of an unknown museum from the “Notes on Museum Collections in Europe and America, 1911-1930” collection. Notice the bear hunt scene at the far left.


After lunch, we completed risk assessment on the hallway map case, and found these drawings of clay dolls from the collection of James Alfred Ford.


Next week we hope to finish risk assessment on the remaining hallway cabinets, which will bring us much closer to finishing both phases in Anthropology – hooray!

Today we received a wonderful treat in the North American Mammal Hall. While heading an effort to make the dioramas more environmentally friendly through better lighting, Beth and her team of taxidermists, conservators and other experts have also been giving the dioramas and their inhabitants some much needed touch ups. Beth filled us in on many of the issues they confronted like the fading of fur, dust, bubbling paint on the back wall of the displays, and the unpleasant yellowing of some of the snow scenes. Steve Quinn, one of the restoration artists, talked to us about the steps it takes to preserve the landscapes as well as the story each scene depicts. Many details such as body size/structure, diet, hunting style, types of fur, and season all must factored in when staging and repairing the depictions. We were proud to hear that information from the Mammalogy archive proved helpful for retracing the steps of the Hall’s original designers.

After that thrilling experience we ventured up to the sixth floor of Mammalogy to inventory the map and gazeteer collection. Many of the maps were used on expeditions throughout the world and were well organized. Number codes were assigned and a finding aid was available to explain the system of classification. The gazeteers, or geographical directories, collected the information about where specimens were collected. Included were latitude, longitude, altitude and other helpful information that allows the current staff to find places that might not appear on ordinary maps. We leave you with some map-related photo to help you find your way home.