May 23, 2022

University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library is “Among 10 Top Map Libraries in the Country Featured in a Digital Project Called ‘Mapping a World of Cities'”

From the Portland Press Herald:

The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education is already well known to map scholars and historians for its collection of some 500,000 maps, dating back to 1475.

But, in September, the 26-year-old Portland institution added to its national reputation through its inclusion in an online collaboration called “Mapping A World of Cities,” which features pieces from 10 of the top map libraries in the country, including the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, the MacLean Collection Map Library in Illinois, the Harvard Map Collection and the Library of Congress.


The project allows the collections of these major map libraries to be viewed together, something that would be difficult and very costly to do if 400-year-old maps had to be transported around the country. Covering four centuries, the project shows how cities have changed over the years – economically, geographically and otherwise – as the science of cartography changed too. Nine maps from the Osher library’s collection are part of the 90-map project.


The library is part of the University of Southern Maine and is located on the Portland campus. Besides maps, the library’s collections include rare globes, atlases, navigational charts and related items. The library’s gallery is currently hosting a show inspired by the state’s bicentennial: “Mapping Maine: The Land and Its Peoples, 1677-1842.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Article (approx. 1800 words)

Direct to “Mapping A World of Cities”

See Also: Digital Maps: HistoryIT and Osher Map Library (U. of Southern Maine) Launch New Online Resource (April 10, 2017)

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

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

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.