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About this collection

Each of the large historical real estate atlases of Columbus, Ohio included in this collection were created and published by the G. William Baist Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The maps in Baist’s atlases were created for utilitarian purposes: Baist’s maps were for real estate title searches and include detailed building, subdivision, infrastructure and street data. They are beautifully designed and colored, and produced for dozens of U.S. cities, but in small quantities. Most were heavily used, annotated, worn out, and discarded. WorldCat indicates five copies of the 1899 atlas, three copies of the 1910 atlas, and four of the 1920 atlas in all libraries worldwide.

Historical maps provide snapshots of the complex urban geographies of 20th century America. Among the most useful sources are those that show details of buildings, streets, and other urban infrastructure. Students and researchers in geography, urban studies, urban planning, history, architecture, landscape architecture, genealogy, and local history will find myriad details of interest on these old maps, and can compare them to the current urban landscape, noting the evolution of urban form. They are appropriate for historical research, but also for field learning and neighborhood activism focused on undoing decades of inappropriate urban redevelopment. These historical maps are relevant to a broad range of academic interests, research and learning, as well as community members, planners, and the general public.

Three versions of each Atlas plate for each of the three years are available: 

1) An original scan of each atlas plate, as a single 300dpi TIFF file

2) A geo-rectified version of each atlas plate, as a single 300dpi GeoPDF file. The original scan was imported into GIS software (ArcGIS) and stretched to fit a modern map of the corresponding area. Also included in each PDF file (when opened with Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro) is a layer of modern (2011) road and building outline data. These layers can be turned off and on. The inclusion of the historical and modern data in a single file allows for the study of landscape change over time. ]). GeoPDF files contain the coordinate data (State Plane Coordinate System, Ohio, South) used to geo-rectify the atlas scans, and can be imported into and used in GIS software.

3) A geo-rectified version of each atlas plate, as a two-part 300dpi GeoTIFF file (including the image [.tif] and additional file with metadata [.xml). GeoTIFF files contain the coordinate data (State Plane Coordinate System, Ohio, South) used to geo-rectify the atlas scans, and can be imported into and used in GIS software.

A collaborative project between Dr. John Krygier, Dr. David Walker, William Ruzek, and Science Librarian Deborah Peoples.

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Five Colleges of Ohio (Next Steps in the Next Generation Library: Integrating Digital Collections into the Liberal Arts Curriculum, 2010)

 
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