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February 15, 2007
A collection of 3000 historical maps dating from 1867 to 1927 are now available online through the DeLaMare Library's website. The Nevada Division of State Lands gave digital files of the maps to the DeLaMare Library for the historic maps website, which has been available since fall of 2006.
The maps, which are also referred to as plats, were originally used for land surveying and to note land acquisition for new settlers in the state.
The maps are drawn to scale and include details of boundaries and physical features such as mountains, hills and ravines of the illustrated region. Man made structures were also frequently indicated on the maps, according to Linda Newman, geoscience and map librarian at the DeLaMare Library.
'You can find remains of structures dating from 100 years ago," Newman said.
Apart from illustrations of features such as mountains, hills and ravines, the maps also indicate the original deeds of settlers who first obtained the land from the government, according to Newman.
"The maps contain incredible information for anybody studying our history," Newman said. "If you're looking to find the history of ownership of the area, the plats show the first person who filed a claim with the government."
The unique collection is a valuable asset for the state of Nevada, since hosting historical state plats online is a practice available in only a few other states.
"This is an extremely rare set," Newman said. "To my knowledge there are only two other states that have put up a set like this on their websites."
The collection can be beneficial for the general public's curiosity but most especially for researchers and students, for commercial or for personal use, according to Newman.
"We're the only map library in the state," Newman said. "It's part of our obligation to have these available. We are most appreciative of Nevada State Lands Division for giving us the digital files."
The maps are currently being formatted so they can be available for printing for personal use.
For those who wish to print out copies of the maps, call the DeLaMare Library at (775) 784-6945 or the DataWorks department in the main library at (775) 784-4636 ask for assistance.