May 17, 2022

Digital Maps: HistoryIT and Osher Map Library (U. of Southern Maine) Launch New Online Resource

From HistoryIT:

Digital history company HistoryIT and the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (OML) at the University of Southern Maine today unveiled a new website designed to make the map library’s world-renowned collection accessible to a vast and still-untapped online audience.

The new website launch comes after a yearlong collaboration in which HistoryIT and OML.



HistoryIT created cutting edge enhanced metadata for a representative sample of 1,000 of the OML’s more than 1.5 million items. HistoryIT and OML will continue to expand the accessibility of the collection over the next few years, as part of OML’s ongoing digitization efforts.


[Ian] Fowler [director of the Osher Map Library] pointed to Robert Sayer’s 1755 map of the English empire in North America, commonly referred to as the Anti-Gallican map, as an example of how HistoryIT and OML are making the site more accessible. While the previous OML website made this map searchable by title and map creator, the new website allows users to discover this map through 23 newly created tags, including each of the seven inset maps on the parent map and five new subject tags that go beyond the academic language of traditional subject headings.

Direct to Osher Map Library

Direct to Advanced Search Interface

Cool! Direct to Osher Map Library Image Search

A portion of the holdings in these collections have been optimized to allow searching for elements within a given map, such as sea monsters, decorative borders, cartouche, or other imagery.

See Also: Osher Map Library Resources For K-12 Educators

See Also: Osher Map Library is Digitizing its Rare Globe Collection, Manipulate Globes Online (December 28, 2015)

See Also: University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library Profiled in NEH Magazine (May 30, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.