The Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education
Early maps are complex and richly textured documents that constitute a crucial element of our modern cultural heritage. We can use them to trace humanity’s spatial histories, from engagements with nature to modern globalization. By studying their production, we can comprehend how art, technology, faith, and science intertwine in the human experience. By exploring how they have variously been used, we can develop a social history of culture. The study of maps thus encompasses and integrates the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Their study offers such compelling insights that anyone can enjoy and learn from them.
As an integral part of a comprehensive metropolitan university within the University of Maine System, the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education [OML] is committed to preserving the cartographic heritage of the state, region, and nation for future generations, and to making that heritage accessible to the University, the people of Maine, and to all other students, scholars, and visitors. It shares its collections through exhibitions and through collaborative efforts with other cultural institutions. It seeks to interpret its collections ~ to make them intellectually accessible ~ through:
• dedicated university courses and special classes taught by its faculty scholar;
• collaboration with scholars and teachers from the University and around the globe;
• K-12 outreach programs;
• public lectures and conferences; and
• online and printed publications