Northwestern has published a news story about the conservation treatment and digitization of the (big, stinky) Evanston map.
The oldest printed map of Evanston — discovered several years ago on the verge of disintegration — has been vibrantly restored and made freely available online by Northwestern University Library.
“This map is a very rare and important piece of Evanston’s history,” says University Archivist Kevin Leonard, “and the conservation staff here did an incredible job bringing it back from the grave.”
Published circa 1876 by local surveyor and mapmaker Theodore Reese, the map appears to be the earliest published plat of blocks, streets and alleys in all three of the separate villages — north, south and central — that eventually merged into the incorporated City of Evanston. “So it’s valuable as a relic of Evanston’s past,” Leonard says, “but it also continues to be of use to anyone researching the history of their own or other Evanston real estate, because these were some of the earliest legal property boundaries.”
Here is the video about the map’s treatment and digitization. My arm is featured prominently, but there’s also a shot of me (at 2:20 in) helping Susan place a piece of lining tissue on the back.