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Showing posts from January, 2022

A Map Collection Analysis of BTAA Libraries: Languages Represented

By Daniel Dotson Given the huge role the U.S. government played in creating print maps in the past (and still plays with both print and digital maps), it should be no surprise that English-language maps dominate many print map collections across U.S. academic libraries. Members of the BTAA Geoportal recently examined our print collection of cataloged maps to determine the languages represented. This is not a complete picture, as many un-cataloged maps may be in non-English languages, but we wanted to carry out a preliminary analysis using readily-available data. So how did this shake out? Out of nearly 1.7 million maps in our sample, over 85% are in English. Over 75,000 maps were listed with an undetermined language, which may speak to examining them for this and other missing metadata. European languages by far dominated. For languages with over 1,000 maps, Japanese, Indonesian, and Chinese are the only non-European languages represented. Over 50 languages have 10 or fewer maps. More

Hixson Plat Map Atlases of Michigan

By Kathleen Weessies The Hixson Plat Map Atlases of Michigan digital collection contains Hixson plat books for 36 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The W. W. Hixson & Co. published land atlases for numerous midwest states between 1920 and 1955. Plat books are atlases showing larger parcel boundaries and the owner’s name. A plat atlas generally has one township per page (36 square miles), identifying who owns individual parcels of land and the number of acres in each parcel. The plat shows township sections, roads, railroads, boundaries of towns and urban areas, and bodies of water. Local schools, churches and cemeteries are also noted on each map. Since plat maps can be used to trace property ownership over time, they are often sought out by genealogists or people interested in family histories, as well as by historians. No Hixson plat books have dates on them. We know the years the company was in business and we can estimate dates based on the naming on highways. Caption: Before the f