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The Boston Globe


On the Job

Mapping out history and geography

As curator of maps at the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Ron Grim remembers one of his favorite finds in the collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases. When he opened a nondescript portfolio, a note and two maps dating to 1776 slipped out. They had been used by Ben Franklin.

Grim oversees an archive of cartographic holdings from the 15th century to the present. “Our mission is not just to collect and preserve maps,” he said, “but also make people curious about how maps can teach us about history, world cultures, citizenship, and, of course, geography.”

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