The staff informed us how these maps come into the possession of the Library of Congress, including through private donors interested in protecting an artifact or via government agencies that no longer require them. The Library of Congress also contains a large and growing collection of Sanborn maps that they are making digital. The Library of Congress is working together with the GIS lab for our Easton project by digitizing their Sanborn maps of Easton, Maryland.
After seeing a vast array of maps, atlases, and globes, both new and old, we were shown the room where maps are scanned and digitized using an extremely large state-of-the-art scanning machine (pictured below). However, the trip did not end there. We also visited the Library of Congress Jefferson building and were able to see Thomas Jefferson’s library, as well as a copy of the 2 million dollar map we had previously seen in person. To cap the day off our group toured the U.S. Botanical Garden.
With George Washington’s upcoming birthday early next year, Ed Redmond, Senior Reference Specialist and Curator, Vault Collections of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress, will be giving a talk on George Washington's maps here at Washington College for the occasion. Coupled with this talk, the GIS Program is planning an exhibit of Washington's maps and surveys to coincide with the celebration of George Washington's birthday.