Osher Map Library and Smith Center Map Conservation Campaign

63% of $50,000 goal
This campaign ended on March 31, 2021, but you can still make a gift to University of Southern Maine by clicking here!

The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education Maine Bicentennial Map Conservation Campaign

At the University of Southern Maine's (USM), Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (OML), we enable free public access to and engagement with five centuries of cartographic materials via University, K-12, and public educational outreach; the preservation and digitization of our collections; gallery exhibitions; research and scholarship; and public programming that collectively promotes the continued relevance of maps and mapping as tools to help patrons understand the past and the present, and to imagine the future.

In recognition of Maine's Bicentennial, and in conjunction with our newly launched exhibition, "Mapping Maine: The Land and Its Peoples, 1677-1842," we are raising funds to conserve historic maps of Maine and beyond to ensure that students and researchers of all ages continue to have access to cartographic resources vital to understanding the history of the world, the nation, the land we now call Maine, and our local communities. When historic maps, atlases, and globes come into our collections (via donations by individuals and organizations or by purchase)--like the 1855 Wall Map of Old Town, Penobscot County, Maine, displayed below--they often arrive in fragile condition due to their age, the nature of the materials, and how they have been used over time.  While we protect and store the items in our world-class climate controlled storage facility, many items need conservation in order to be displayed and utilized by our patrons of all ages.  

The conservation of cartographic items is a highly skilled and nuanced process; it can take weeks for a conservator to fully restore a map by assessing and stabilizing its condition, repairing holes and tears, fixing bindings, restoring areas of loss by reattaching brittle areas that have flaked off, removing dirt, old varnish or attachments, etc.  Many of the items in our collections are hand-drawn items where only one copy exists; other items might only be found in a few other libraries around the world.  Your gift, in any amount, will enable us to continue our educational outreach to thousands of K-12 and university students each year, and to the general public, by making these maps, atlases, and globes an accessible part of our curricula for generations to come. 

Your Gift Will Help Us Reach Our Goal

Your gift to the Map Conservation Campaign helps us: 

·       Assess and identify maps and other cartographic items in our collections in need of conservation

·       Bring the items to highly skilled conservators who specialize in the repair and preservation of cartographic materials 

·       Ensure that once conserved and restored, these historic items remain accessible to the public--both in person and digitally--for Maine's next 200 years and beyond

No updates for this campaign.

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