Union Catalog: Huntington Library, Pasadena Museum of History, and Altadena Historical Society  
Geographic Area
North America, some South American and World Maps  
Huntington Library  

Descriptive Information

Metadata Compiled
Metadata Format
Num Items
1573 - 1995
Five years ago a project was begun to catalog and gain access to one of Huntington's large en bloc collections, a collection of printed maps. As with many institutions, maps were considered an "other" -- not a book easily classified or catalogued -- and often individual maps that came into the Huntington orbit were given an accession number, perhaps minimal cataloging, and then shelved. In 1924 Mr. Huntington purchased an entire catalogue, some 800 maps, from the Museum Book Store in London, entitled A Catalogue of Maps of America from the Middle of the Sixteenth to the Middle of Nineteenth Centuries. Three years later another catalogue was also purchased, an additional 1000 maps. The printed maps from these two catalogues, known as Catalogue 93 and 105, went into the Rare Book vault where they lay for the next 60 years virtually untouched. In 2001, Alan Jutzi, Curator of Rare Books at the Huntington, asked Bill Warren if he would like a crack at cataloguing the Museum Book Store Map Collection. Bill, a volunteer with a background in engineering and map collecting, enthusiastically agreed, and set about studying map cataloging; Laura Stalker, then Head of the Huntington's Technical Services, and Dorothy Auyong, Head Rare Book Cataloguer, were exceptionally helpful and with suggestions from several sources a database began to take shape. Database construction was handled by Mario Einaudi, a cataloguer in the Technical Services Department, who had been working on a large collection of maritime ephemera. Fields for the database were defined using AACR2 and various sources on the use of those rules. It was agreed that the database would need to be as comprehensive as possible, but also easy to use so that scholars could find pertinent maps. Full title and imprint information was recorded. When available, the author or cartographer, engraver, and printer were recorded, along with depiction date, printing date and location. Alternate titles were included, as was the language of the map and any atlas where it may have appeared. In addition, physical properties were transcribed: size of the map and sheet on which it was printed; the estimated scale; along with the current geographical coordinates covered. Characteristics of projection, relief, printing method, watermarks and verso were described and recorded, as well as any points of special interest. Each map was then rehoused in a non-acidic folder. The success of cataloguing the Museum Book Store maps led to using the same database to describe in more detail maps of California and the West in the Huntington collections. The Huntington has everything from a copy of Ord's first map of Los Angeles to Beverly Hills tract maps from the 1930's. In addition, Bill's excitement with using the program led him to volunteer and catalogue two other collections, those of the Pasadena Museum of History and the Altadena Historical Society. Both of these are small and locally oriented collections that needed better accessibility and the institutions enthusiastic accepted Bill's help. Over the next several years, as a result of cataloguing all three collections, a Union Catalogue of California and Western Maps was developed. This Union Catalogue, a work in progress, currently contains 3,700+ records of California, the West, and North America from the listed collections. Additional entries will be added, and some records evaluated and reviewed, as available. Please note that each institution holds the copyright for the images used in the database.  

Technical Information

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75 ppi  
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Contact Information

Huntington Library  
Mario Einaudi