Bricks, Sticks, and Straw: Bloomington’s Historical Maps in IU Classrooms

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2021-03-23 (Creation date: 2021-03-23)
Main contributors
Bernstein, Mara; Alford, Emily; Baeten, John; Champion, Carey; Sanders, Doug; Sloan, Heather; Quill, Theresa
Join us for a collaboration between IU Libraries GIMMS and the Craig Preservation Lab for an introduction to the maps of IU Libraries. Maps are a unique primary resource for teaching and research. Maps help us translate a three-dimensional experience into a simpler to use two-dimensional representation. Once created, maps do not serve only a single purpose, rather they can easily take on a life of their own. The context in which they were created does not limit their uses in the future. However, maps are also complex in their creation and use. Often, what a mapmaker chooses to leave off of a map can be as substantial as what they choose to include. This is particularly true of historical maps that were created under potentially different contexts than the contexts in which they are currently used. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are an excellent example of this.

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps were made for the interests of fire insurance companies across the United States, but because they are detailed, building-by-building descriptions of urban areas, they are useful for many kinds of research. For the last several decades, these maps were carefully updated to demonstrate changes in space and building materials. They help researchers understand many aspects of urban development over time beyond the purpose for which they were created. During this online event, we will hear from GIMMS librarians, the Craig Preservation Lab paper conservator, and faculty who use the maps in the classroom.
Map collections
Cartoshop Digital Mapping Workshop Series
Indiana University Libraries

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