Saturday, April 5, 2014

New York Public Library Releases More Than 20,000 Maps To Public; Date From 16th C–Early 20th C

Cultural Artifacts

Central Park: This is a map made six years after the park opened; Central Park is an urban park in
New York City's Manhattan borough. The park opened to the public in 1857, on 778 acres,
or 3.41 square kilometres, of city-owned land
Credit: John Bachmann; 1863
Source: NYPL

An article in The Public Domain Review says that the New York Public Library has released to the public more than 20,000 maps, which individuals can freely download.

The article says:
The New York Public Library have made available online, free from all restrictions, high resolution copies of more than 20,000 historic maps. Containing maps from the 16th through to the early 20th century, the collection focuses mainly on the United States, particularly New York, but also features maps from other countries. The images of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs offer a fascinating snapshot of the development of one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded, through the Map Warper–a wonderful project which aims to make historic maps viewable as overlays on modern maps. Here’s our highlights from the collection, focusing on maps made of New York City. -
This follows a similar initiative by the Wellcome Library in London releasing 100,000 images, following earlier moves by both the The Getty and The British Library to allow free public access to their collections. This is good news. When an institution, especially one funded by the public, does this, it shows that it understands its role, its relationship to society and its citizens; this is welcome news, and let's hope that more large libraries around the world follow this example.

You can see more images at [PubDomRev]