September 13, 2021

Wayne State Library System awarded $11,535 grant to preserve rare Michigan maps

The Wayne State University Library System was recently selected by the Library of Michigan to receive a $11,535 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to improve access to services and information in areas of local history or special collections.

The award will allow the libraries’ Special Collections Team to digitize and preserve a collection of rare, early Michigan maps from the Leonard N. Simons Collection, ranging from 1710 to 1847. These maps are a valuable resource to researchers of the region’s history, as only a handful of copies exist in North America, and digitization will make them more accessible. The maps will be reframed to ensure their long-term preservation and Wayne State geography scholars and Indigenous Michigan studies will create digital overlays over the digitized maps to reflect the Indigenous populations and activities of the relevant time periods represented in the maps.

Not only will the maps be available to the Wayne State community, they will be included in the Digital Public Library of America and Michigan’s state portal, Michigan Memories, making them accessible to K-12 educators for use in their state and local history units.

“We’re excited to collaborate with our Wayne State partners to make these maps more accessible to the entire state of Michigan,” said Alison Greenlee, Special Collections team leader. “This grant will allow us to preserve these maps in a way that will make them available to future generations.”

The Library of Michigan promotes, advocates and consistently works to achieve the highest level of library service to the state and its government, libraries and residents. By meeting the information needs of the legislature, state government and Michigan residents and by contributing to the advancement of library service throughout the state, the Library of Michigan continues to be an invaluable part of Michigan’s landscape. 

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Wayne State University Library System consists of the university's five libraries: The David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Shiffman Medical Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library and the Reuther Library as well as the School of Information Sciences.

Wayne State University is a premier institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 27,000 students.


Jill Wurm
Phone: (313) 577-4149

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