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Sochi Olympics

February 6, 2014.

In celebration of the Olympics, the Map Center has two maps of the Sochi area on display. See a 1672 map of the Black Sea and a modern map of the same area.

The maps will be on display until February 23rd.

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Wall Street Journal Review

January 21, 2014

Check out the Wall Street Journal's review of our current exhibition, Made in Boston.

War Put Boston on the Map

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January Uploads

January 9, 2014

Notable January additions include new manuscript maps, a map on silk, a 19th century puzzle and a colorful view of Boston.


Map of a woman's heart

[Silk map of New York, Philadephia, and southern New England]

Plan of the estate of Stephen R. and Charles F. Benton...

Bird's eye view of Boston

news globe interview

Mapping Out History and Geography

December 1, 2013

Curator Ron Grim was featured in the Business section of the Boston Globe.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/12/01/mapping-out-history-and-g...

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Maps in the Children's Room

November 18, 2013

2 maps from the Leventhal Map Center collection are currently on display in the Children’s Room at the Central Library:

In honor of Geography Awareness Week (November 18-22), a large reproduction of the What’s Up? South! has a place of honor. Children and families have the chance to get up close and personal with this great map that plays with our ideas of perspective.

Also, as November is Native American Heritage Month, a tribal nations map, Native American Nations, Our Own Names and Locations (2013) is featured along with a selection of children’s books on Native American history.

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November Uploads

November 14, 2013

November additions include Georges-Louis Le Rouge's Recueil des plans de l'Amerique Septentrionale, a 1755 atlas of plan and views of North America; post route maps showing postal routes, frequency of service, electric and cable cars, counties and railroads; and county maps showing towns, landowners, and illustrations of local buildings.


Plan de la ville de Quebec in
Recueil des plans de l'Amerique Septentrionale

Post route map of the territory of New Mexico. 1897

Cummings' map of Columbia and Montour counties, Penn'a. 1860

Map illustrating the military operations in front of Atlanta, Ga. [in 1864]

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Made in Boston Opens

November 12, 2013

Our new exhibition Made in Boston opened on November 8th. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a majority of these maps “made in Boston” in the century before the American Revolution. As a group they are remarkable for their idiosyncrasies of style and important contributions to geographical knowledge.

Visit the exhibition in the Map Center Gallery or see a selection of the items online.

news Needham visit

Needham High School Visit

October 22, 2013

A group of 50 high school seniors from Needham High School recently visited the Map Center as part of an interdisciplinary class called The Greater Boston Project. Students are investigating how historical individuals and groups from the 17th-21st centuries worked to effect change. The Needham students examined a variety of Boston maps over time and discussed what kinds of information the mapmakers were trying to communicate. They also examined 19th century maps of their home town of Needham.

We welcome groups of all ages to visit the Leventhal Map Center. Best of all, programs are FREE.

To book a program, contact Michelle LeBlanc, Director of Education, mleblanc@bpl.org, 617-859-2294

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Recently Digitized

October 17, 2013

Over 200 maps have been digitized and added to the website. Notable additions in this latest batch include:


A new chart of the Mississippi River, the coast of west Florida, and part of Louisiana
Salem navigator Samuel Lambert published a small number of nautical charts, and few examples of each of his charts are recorded. With the addition of this previously unknown nautical chart of the Mississippi River, the Boston Public Library has 3 of his 7 known charts.

A map of New-England, being the first that ever was here cut...
Based on a 1665 survey by William Reed, John Foster's map of New England is the earliest map drawn, engraved and printed in North America. The survey was commissioned by the government of Massachusetts to justify the colony's northern and southern boundaries, which are indicated by two parallel lines on the map.

The map was prepared as a woodcut illustration for William Hubbard's A narrative of the troubles with the Indians in New England, which was published simultaneously in Boston and London. The London edition included many different spellings and is commonly called the Wine Hills version while the Boston edition is called the White Hills version. The Boston Public Library's White Hills version is in Hubbard's book in the Rare Books Department.

Other interesting additions:


Bird's-eye view of Derry, N.H.

1864 map of U.S. public lands showing mines

Charts of the Americas in Sir Robert Dudley's Dell'arcano del mare

1850 plan of markets in New York City

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Collections of Distinction Curator Profiles

October 3, 2013

Boston Public Library’s Collections of Distinction feature eighteen of the most outstanding, expansive, and renowned of the library’s holdings. Behind the collections are the curators who can expertly describe the significance of all the treasures found within. Map Center Curator Ronald Grim recently answered questions about the Maritime Charts and Atlases.

Visit the Collections of Distinction Curator Profiles page to meet Ron and other curators.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (http://maps.bpl.org)