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Need some advice on disposing of lots of old OS Maps

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#1
ravells

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An old friend of our family died a few years ago; his wife had already gone and he had no children.

During his working life he was an engineer with the Public Works Department (British Empire days in the '50s ) and when we were clearing out his loft we found around a hundred or so old OS maps of the places he worked in, mainly the West Indies and Ceylon. I took the maps and they are now sitting in my loft and we are about to move house so I have rediscovered them. It was my intention to send them all to a library somewhere in the Caribbean where they could be of some use (probably for historical interest) but I never got around to it.

Most of these OS maps are at a huge scale, about 1:25,000. I have no idea if they are valuable or of academic interest only. What I do know is that they are of no use to me, and there is no way on earth I can bring myself to throw them into the skip along with the other forgettable stuff that we've picked up in our lives and are now getting rid of with the impending move.

When Uncle John retired to darkest Wales, he became something of a world authority on bee keeping (and his Welsh honey was fantastic). I don't know if you know, but bees are essential to the pollination of plants and many bee species are dying out through a combination of factors which makes life ahead for humans somewhat uncertain in terms of growing food. We have family who are farmers and are noticing this even now. One of Uncle John's bequests was that an educational centre should be set up in Wales about bees and bee keeping and I am one of the trustees to make this a reality. In fact, in writing this, it's just occurred to me that GIS and bee populations are something worth looking into.

So, back to the maps. My questions are:

If these maps have any value, I would like to sell them and put any income earned into Uncle John's trust for bees. Is there any value in 1050's OS maps at huge scales in places like the West Indies and Ceylon (I'm pretty sure they are out of print).

If not, and the maps are of academic interest only, who should I give these maps to so that they will benefit the most people who need to use them (hopefully for free)?

I would really welcome any thoughts you have. I attach a couple of very horrid photos I've just taken with my wife's small camera just as the battery was running out.

All the best

Ravi

http://i28.photobuck...ls/IMGP2154.jpg

http://i28.photobuck...ls/IMGP2155.jpg

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#2
Darren Cope

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Hi Ravi,

Not sure about selling them--good luck with that!

However, if you're looking to dontate them, perhaps http://www.davidrumsey.com/ would be interested? I don't know that their 'policy' is on that kind of thing, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. They would then be widely available for free through his great website.

Cheers,

Darren Cope
http://darrencope.com

An old friend of our family died a few years ago; his wife had already gone and he had no children.

During his working life he was an engineer with the Public Works Department (British Empire days in the '50s ) and when we were clearing out his loft we found around a hundred or so old OS maps of the places he worked in, mainly the West Indies and Ceylon. I took the maps and they are now sitting in my loft and we are about to move house so I have rediscovered them. It was my intention to send them all to a library somewhere in the Caribbean where they could be of some use (probably for historical interest) but I never got around to it.

Most of these OS maps are at a huge scale, about 1:25,000. I have no idea if they are valuable or of academic interest only. What I do know is that they are of no use to me, and there is no way on earth I can bring myself to throw them into the skip along with the other forgettable stuff that we've picked up in our lives and are now getting rid of with the impending move.

When Uncle John retired to darkest Wales, he became something of a world authority on bee keeping (and his Welsh honey was fantastic). I don't know if you know, but bees are essential to the pollination of plants and many bee species are dying out through a combination of factors which makes life ahead for humans somewhat uncertain in terms of growing food. We have family who are farmers and are noticing this even now. One of Uncle John's bequests was that an educational centre should be set up in Wales about bees and bee keeping and I am one of the trustees to make this a reality. In fact, in writing this, it's just occurred to me that GIS and bee populations are something worth looking into.

So, back to the maps. My questions are:

If these maps have any value, I would like to sell them and put any income earned into Uncle John's trust for bees. Is there any value in 1050's OS maps at huge scales in places like the West Indies and Ceylon (I'm pretty sure they are out of print).

If not, and the maps are of academic interest only, who should I give these maps to so that they will benefit the most people who need to use them (hopefully for free)?

I would really welcome any thoughts you have. I attach a couple of very horrid photos I've just taken with my wife's small camera just as the battery was running out.

All the best

Ravi

http://i28.photobuck...ls/IMGP2154.jpg

http://i28.photobuck...ls/IMGP2155.jpg



#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Another party who might be interested is the British Society of Cartographers, there's often messages being posted on their mailing list by people who offer stacks of old maps. But I like Darren's suggestion as well.

Hard to say what the value would be, in case you want to sell them. I picked up old (1920s/1930s) OS maps at flea markets for 1 pound apiece. If you want to sell them off it's probably best to do it in one go, to save you a lot of time and hassle.
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#4
Michael Schmeling

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You can also ask on the MapHist mailing list. There are many librarians and antiquaries who might be able to give advice.
Michael Schmeling
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#5
ravells

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Thanks for all the advice! I'll follow up with the Society and with MapHist and see what they suggest! If all else fails Rumsey looks like a good bet (although I'm not sure if they'd be interested in OS maps).

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#6
dsl

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You could try putting up a few on ebay and seeing if you get any interest. Not sure what you would put as your starting bid. It would cost you a few dollars (pounds) to put up an ad. I've seen some antique maps sold through ebay, but don't know much about it.

Cheers,
David

#7
ravells

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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I've decided to donate the maps to the OpenStreetMap Foundation who assure me that once copyright expires on them, they will make them freely available on the internet.

Create beautiful fantasy maps at the Cartographers' Guild
 

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