Arranging and storing a map collection?

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    • #2793

      Our library has a fairly large collection of uncatalogued maps that for years have just been sitting in barrels (large rolled up maps), lying folded in envelopes (smaller maps), or simply lying in rolls along cabinet tops. We are starting to take them in hand–I would like to inventory them, create at least a list, and where possible store them in rather more archivally friendly environments. They are all Nebraska or Omaha maps (I think), but vary from city planning maps to plat maps to road maps to maps showing the location of downtown buildings years ago….Who knows, in fact. I’m wondering what is the best way to assign them numbers or some kind of identifying code. We have no record of their provenance. I would like to have the number we assign each one include their year of publication (which we can see in most cases), but beyond that? My colleague thought of including things like the name of the county and type of map in the item number, but I though that might become complicated…We also have more than one copy of many of these maps. What system does anyone else use? Whatever we set up now will pretty much be our future (we have a few hundred maps), so I’d like to do it right. :)
      My other question–we do not have the room or the facilities to store all these maps flat–is it a bad thing to store them rolled? Most of them have been rolled up for quite a few years.

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