WWU Collection Vandalized

A developing story on the MAPS-L mailing list. Last month, a librarian at Western Washington University reported that a number of government documents had been vandalized. The plates had been removed with a razor (the modus operandi of map thieves). Since then, lists of plates and illustrations missing from the library’s collection have been posted to MAPS-L; the missing items are mostly from late 19th- or early 20th-century government publications, such as maps from annual reports of Department of the Interior or plates from Bureau of Fisheries bulletins.

The above reports came from the government documents collection; last week, librarians were able to report that while some items from the main collection had also been vandalized, the Huxley Map Library does not appear to have been hit.

It seems to me that, as far as map thefts are concerned, the only thing worse than catching a map thief and finding out how much he’s stolen is finding out how much has been stolen without catching the thief.