19th Century Map Found In Book At OSU Library

Friday, September 12th 2014, 6:09 pm
By: News 9

Librarians at Oklahoma State University made a rare find on the bookshelves of the Edmon Low Library.

"Lots of stuff in there really were hidden treasures," Bonnie Cain-Wood said she was surprised to hear what the library staff recently uncovered.

It may not be quite as remarkable as finding an old treasure map, but Cain-Wood and her staff came close, finding a map that is a treasure itself.

"What they chose to map about and what they chose to depict in that map tells us a lot about what was important to them at that time," Cain-Wood said.

Tucked inside a book, the 19th century map that was created by the United States War Department, known today as the U.S. Department of Defense, sat patiently waiting to be discovered.

It depicts the state of Texas in 1844.

"This map was originally published inside a book," said Cain-Wood. "It was a fold out inside that book, and not many people are going to find that book or even know to look for that book." 

Cain-Wood said similar maps have sold for $8,000 to $10,000, but OSU has other plans for this historic artifact.

The University is adding the rare find to an online map collection that consists of thousands of maps available to the public at no charge.

"The way we make information available now is really about discoverability, so finding things that you don't know you are looking for," Cain-Wood said.

Just as the librarians discovered such a map.

View OSU's Collection of Maps