The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

I finished reading The Map Thief by Michael Blanding this morning, the account primarily of the actions of map dealer E. Forbes Smiley III and thefts to which he admitted and others attributed to him, mostly in the 2000s. The book reveals a bit about how more support is needed to adequately catalog and care for rare books, manuscripts, and maps to preserve them for the future while making them available now. It’s both a book that is a bit alarming and helpful by teaching how some people steal materials. If I were still the guardian of a collection, I would definitely review practices to figure out how to better protect materials. The book also summarizes the history of map making and certain key maps and takes a look at some institutions Smiley visited.

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