UA to give away free maps


CW/ Austin Bigoney

Erin Baxton, Contributing Writer

The University’s Map Library is scaling down its maps collection. Free maps of various categories including arts and crafts, national parks and hiking spots will be given away. The state of Alabama and bordering states maps will be excluded from the free giveaway.

Who: The Map Library

 What: Free map giveaway of various collections

When: Thursday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: 3rd floor Farrah Hall


“We’re one of the largest map libraries in the country,” said Johanna Engstrom, geospatial services manager. “One copy of every map that has been produced for the last 150 years has been sent here, so they should be available to the public, as we are the one library in Alabama that has that status, but now the University wants to downsize to make space for other stuff and give away some of the old maps.”

Engstrom said the maps are government property and cannot be sold. She is trying to give away as many as possible.

“I realize a lot of people like the maps,” she said. “I’ve had map giveaways before. I started here last year, and since then we’ve had one or two giveaways in the fall and one or two in the spring, and people go crazy. Especially if they can find a map from the ‘50s or ‘60s, or their parents’ hometown or what their own hometown looked like 30 years ago. Now everything is digital, you know. Everyone uses google maps now, so to have a paper copy, some people find that really cool.”