Tucked away on the 3rd floor of the MLK Library in downtown Washington DC are forty drawers filled with more than 8,000 historical maps of Washington DC.
Over the next few months, thanks to a new partnership between MapStory and the DC Public Library, a subset of these maps will be scanned, digitized, geo-referenced and uploaded into MapStory.org. As a result, MapStory users will be able to combine historic maps with other types of data to bring DC history to life.
Alongside the technical parts of the project, staff at the MLK Library will work to engage community members through public events, working in partnership with the Digital Commons division inside MLK.
According to Lauren Martino, a special collections librarian working on the project, “Until now, the Washingtoniana Map Collection has essentially been a secret that only the most diligent researchers have been able to find. Working with MapStory is providing an opportunity to share this hidden collection with the world while also making it more accessible to our local patrons here in DC. I can’t wait to see the stories that these maps will inspire!”
Kimberly Zablud, interim assistant director of the MLK Library said, “We first met MapStory when they joined the Library’s Dream Lab a year ago. Now we’re collaborating on an innovative method to tell stories with our customers.”
MapStory’s Dr. Christopher Tucker said, “Part of our goal with MapStory has always been to help residents share what they find meaningful about their communities and, in so doing, enrich civic life. This partnership with the DC Library system will help us experiment and find ways that libraries everywhere can engage in MapStorytelling projects that are relevant for them.”
For more information on the collaboration, contact MapStory Director of Content, Jon Marino, at email@example.com.