The Henry Madden Library at Fresno State was awarded an $84,700 grant to digitize 20,000 maps of the California State Lands Commission and make them available to the public. The grant comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is affiliated with the National Archives.

“The Madden Library is honored to be awarded this grant in order to provide this important resource to the community,” said Del Hornbuckle, dean of the library. “This project will significantly improve the way researchers access critical mapping data and expand the number of resources available to our campus community.”

The project will also contribute to the growth and usefulness of the University’s Map and Aerial Locator Tool (MALT) and to its value to the University and beyond. The tool contains a large assortment of maps, atlases, gazetteers and aerial photographs, some of which date back to 1937.

Nearly all of the funds are allocated toward supporting two teams of trained undergraduate student assistants who will do the work of digitizing and geo-referencing the maps, plus a trained graduate student supervisor. The students will be supervised by Madden Library staff members, Maria Pena and Xiaoming Yang.

The project will be led by project director Renaldo Gjoshe and is expected to take one year to complete. Library faculty members Carol Doyle, David Drexler and Peter McDonald also provided input and support in securing the funding for this project. The library’s efforts were supported by Dr. Gil Harootunian from the Office of the Provost and Radhana Singh from the California State Lands Commission.

When the Henry Madden Library was founded in 1911, it housed just 432 books. Today, the Fresno State library is home to more than 2 million titles, 823,000 e-books and 55,000 online journals, as well as several special collections. It is the largest academic library between Los Angeles and San Francisco and welcomes 1.76 million annual visitors.