Restored History in Rice Library

              While we were on spring break something quite exciting was happening in David L. Rice Library! There was an unveiling of a newly-restored map of Evansville dating back to 1914! The map’s new location is directly across from the information wall on the first floor, next to the scanner. But what is so special about this map and why should you take time to observe it?



                About five years ago, Jennifer Greene, Head of the Rice Library Archives, came across this map. It had been rescued from the Evansville City Hall by a couple of retired professors. The map was not in good shape when Ms. Greene found it. It had deteriorated and was beginning to crack, and had years of soot build-up (accumulated from being placed near a coal-burning furnace). It was in such bad shape that when Ms. Greene unrolled the map she decided it could not be rolled up again. Ms. Greene thought that this map, if restored, would be a unique item to display somewhere in the library.

                Moving forward, the map was taken to Guy Davis, who owns and operates the Snodgrass and Davis Studio in Indianapolis, to begin the restoration process. I spoke to Mr. Davis on the phone and he explained to me that the map was in poor shape when he received it, and then walked me through the process he took to restore the it. The steps he took are as follows:

  1. Remove the flaking with an adhesive material
  2. Coat the entire map with a compound to prepare it for a new backing


    Post Restoration

  3. Clean the entire map to free it of any accumulated grime
  4. Build a structural mount for the map,including filtering plexiglass that will protect the map from any UV rays and preserve it for years to come

This entire process took about 60 hours to complete. The amount of work that was put into restoring this map is astonishing and it has paid off. The map looks good as new and will be a great addition to Rice Library.

                Be sure to stop by and admire this new piece of history on the first floor!

Read on,

Austin Viano

More From the Suggestion Box

Hello, everyone!  This is Marna Hostetler, Director of the David L. Rice Library, here to respond to our most recent suggestions:

Received March 10, 2014

1. Have more kids’ books.  A lot of Education majors rely on Rice (Library).

2. Complete series of books you have already.  It’s disappointing to start a series and not finish it.

First, thank you very much for your suggestions.  We agree that more kids’ books would be a great resource, not only for our Teacher Education majors, but also for the Children’s Learning Center, the Summer Enrichment Camp, and the children of USI students, faculty, and staff.  We purchase the titles that win the following awards each year, and fill in other titles when we can:

Boston Globe – Horn Book Award

Caldecott Medal

Caldecott Honor

Charlotte Zolotow Award – Winner

Charlotte Zolotow Award – Honor

Coretta Scott King Award – author & illustrator awards

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Jane Addams Book Award

Jane Addams Book Honor

National Book Award: Young People’s Literature

New York Times Best Illustrated Books

Newbery Medal

Newbery Honor

Phoenix Award

Phoenix Honor

Pura Belpre Award – author & illustrator awards

Schneider Family Book Award

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

However, as fun as it is to select children’s titles to add to our collection, our budget is limited and we have many other programs to support.

Your point on completing book series is a good one, and we do try to do that with shorter series of 10 titles or less.  Ongoing series with many titles become difficult to maintain, and before purchasing another title within a series, we look at circulation counts for other titles from that series.  If circulation counts are low, we may decide not to continue purchasing additional titles from that series.  We have begun purchasing mass market best sellers, however, and some titles within series will certainly be on those lists.

Thanks again for taking the time to provide us with feedback on how we’re doing.  Please write again if other ideas come to you.