January 17, 2022

Digitization Projects: Fresno State University’s Henry Madden Library to Digitize 50,000 Maps From California State Lands Commission

From Fresno State University:

The California State Lands Commission has entered into a contract with Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library to digitize the remainder of its map collection — about 50,000 maps — over the next three years. This continued contract follows an $87,000 grant over the past year to digitize about 20,000 maps.

The diversity of aerials and maps that make up the State Lands Commission collection shows how California’s land and water features have changed over time. These invaluable resources not only allow for comparisons with current land surveys, but illustrate California’s historical landscape and offer evidence of the evolution of California’s geography.

This project will empower researchers, media, scholars, educators and the public with tools to conduct more efficient research online, during on-site research trips or when making off-site inquiries.


The project will also contribute to the growth and usefulness of the University’s Map and Aerial Locator Tool (MALT) and to its value to the University and beyond. The tool facilitates the discovery of a large assortment of maps, atlases, gazetteers and aerial photographs, some of which date back to 1886.

In addition to aerials and maps from our own library collections, the Map and Aerial Locator Tool serves as a resource for collections held by various other universities, libraries and state organizations, including UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Public Library and the California State Lands Commission, which holds the largest collection of such objects.

The Madden Library’s Digital Services staff will administer this project with the support of student assistants paid through contract funds. The digitization will also enable the eventual transfer of the physical State Lands Commission maps and aerials to the California State Archives for proper long-term preservation.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.