Librarian researches, catalogs historic map collections at Hayes

Press Staff Writer

        In the archives of the Hayes Presidential Library, a large wall cabinet is filled with rolled maps, from navigational charts of Lake Erie and Sandusky River to maps of Ohio and Fremont through the years to railroad right-of-way maps.        Some are original, hand-drawn lithographs or hand-painted maps on fabric. Others are copies of maps located in the National Archives.
        They have been in storage for decades, but they have never been added to Hayes Presidential’s online catalogs – until now.
        For more than a year, Hayes Presidential Librarian Pat Breno has been studying these maps, determining the years or time periods in which they were created and cataloging them online.
        She adds them to the online catalogs run by WorldCat and Bowling Green State University, which are available on Hayes Presidential’s website, and describes each one. From there, anyone across the world can search for them using keywords.
        “Nobody knows we have these things,” said John Ransom, head librarian. “This is a project we’ve been wanting to do for years.”
        The maps can be helpful research tools in many areas.
        Railroad right-of-way maps show the names of people who owned land abutting the railroad, making them useful for genealogy and researching a house’s history.
        Civil War maps, which include each of the battles in which Rutherford B. Hayes fought, detail the entire fight.
         “You’ll follow along, and they’ll tell you hour by hour the movements of the troops,” Breno said.
        Maps of Ohio and the Fremont area through the years show how the state and local area changed, from differing county lines to the names of settlements. Other area maps include the cities of Toledo, Maumee and Delaware.             One of her favorites is an 1836 map of Croghansville, the area around War of 1812 Fort Stephenson and is today Birchard Public Library in Fremont. This map, donated by the library, includes a description of the area written by Lucy Keeler, Hayes’ cousin.
        “I’m learning about so many different areas,” Breno said. “These maps are really neat.”
        Hayes Presidential is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues, Fremont. For information, call 419-332-2081, visit or follow on social media.


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