Rare Map of New York City Restored

by Christopher Paul on January 20, 2011

The New York Times reports a rare map of New York City from 1770 has been found and restored. There were only three of these “Ratzer” maps (after Bernard Ratzer who is considered the Leonardo Da Vinci of cartography) known to exist. Two of them are in storage at the New York Historical Society and only brought out a few times a year. The other is at the British Library in London and is also rarely displayed.

The Times goes into the lengthy process for restoring and preserving the find which is pretty interesting to me. Also interesting, is how they found the map in the first place. Its one of stories where it was practically lost in storage – no one aware of what it was. As a history buff, I can’t wait to see this map on display; they say there are plans to do so but nothing has been announced yet.

The Times also has a fantastic before and after comparison a zoomable digital format. In the restored version, you can clearly make out Bowery Lane. Its just fascinating to me.

Cunning, Care and Sheer Luck Save Rare Map – NY Times via Kottke

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