The Rebirth of the Sterling Map Collection

When Forbes Smiley was caught red-handed three years ago, it was at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, but it was the map collection at the nearby Sterling Memorial Library — and the state of disrepair of its catalogue — that caused the most fallout after Smiley’s arrest. An article in the current issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine outlines the state of affairs at the Sterling map collection three years ago, and the changes that have taken place since, in terms of cataloguing and staffing, and in terms of digitizing a map collection some of the constituent parts of which simply cannot be priced. And let’s not forget security:

Today, Sterling and its storage space have been renovated. No one sees any of Sterling’s rare maps without first signing a form and listing the map requested. Patrons can see only one item at a time, and only while they themselves are under constant surveillance by two video cameras. Two full-time catalogers are now at work in the collection, and the 11,000 rarities are their main charge.

Via MapHist.

Previously: Forbes Smiley and Cortés’s Map; Theft Roundup: Yale Security Measures; European Libraries; Reese Donates $100K to Yale for Map Digitization; Yale Issues Statement About Smiley Investigation; Libraries Suspect Smiley in More Map Thefts; Yale’s Missing Maps; Forbes Smiley Case: Fallout at Yale’s Beinecke Library.