As many university-level courses move to remote learning in Spring 2020 in response to institutional closures for the covid-19 outbreak, teachers and facilitators may be interested in using digital resources available from the Leventhal Map & Education Center for online instruction. Course topics which may relate to our collections strengths include historical geography, environmental history, urban history, the history of science, American studies, local and regional history of Boston and New England, GIS and geospatial techniques, critical cartography, and other related themes.
Digitized Maps & Atlases
- Our new Atlascope tool offers an easy way to browse web-rectified urban atlases of Boston and its inner suburbs from 1874 to 1938. Atlascope is useful for making time-series comparisons of fine-scale historical change during this period. See the full Atlascope documentation, and for those teaching GIS courses, the Atlascope data guide may suggest opportunities for bringing these materials into a course on geospatial data. Atlascope also offers the ability to generate permalinks to specific views, and to embed a mini-viewer into websites and blogs.
- Over 11,000 high-resolution maps are available electronically at our Digital Collections Portal, and most are available for download in JPG and TIFF formats. Featured collections include American Revolution, Boston and New England, Maritime Charts & Atlases, and Urban Maps.
- The Map Center Digital Collections portal is a subset of the Digital Commonwealth platform, which contains hundreds of thousands of digitized objects from Massachusetts institutions.
- A collection of 336 bound atlases in various languages is digitized and available at the Internet Archive.
- Our Tools for Teachers portal features slideshow map sets and lesson plans. Most of these have been designed for K–12 education, but some material may be suitable for reuse in university-level courses.
- Our archive of digital exhibitions includes curated maps, captions, and reading lists on themes ranging from immigration to elections.
- Pull lists for previous university-level classroom tours of the Rare Maps Reading Room are available on request.
Remote Map Center Tours
We are currently reviewing our policy for in-house class visits to the Rare Maps Reading Room during the Spring 2020 semester. (Public access to our gallery remains open at this time). If you would like to schedule a “virtual tour” of the Map Center’s holdings with a curator or reference librarian over a video platform like Zoom or Skype, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Digital Map Resources
A selection of digital map resources from other institutions that may be useful for remote teaching include:
- Large collections of digitized maps are available at the Library of Congress, David Rumsey Map Center (Stanford), New York Public Library, American Geographical Society Library (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, amongst many other repositories.
- Mapping Inequality, a digital humanities project using HOLC mortgage security maps (University of Richmond)
- Digital publications from the Stanford Spatial History Project
- The New York Public Library’s Space/Time Directory, a collection of H-GIS data sets
- Columbia Center for Spatial Research’s mapping and visualization tutorials
Want to add a resource to this list? Send us a tweet @bplmaps, and we’re happy to add useful material.