Ron Grim, curator of maps at the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Woods Hole Public Library on Tuesday night, July 12, at 8 PM. The meeting, which will be held in the Library building at 581 Woods Hole Road, will start with a short business meeting with brief reports from the Library’s officers and director, followed by Mr. Grim’s talk.
He will speak about maps of Cape Cod which are in the BPL collection, one of the country’s foremost cartographic resources This man obviously delights in maps, and remembers one his favorite moments in the collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases: It was when he opened a nondescript portfolio, and 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.” He is also credited with finding and expediting the return of one of the maps, a 1621 map by Samuel de Champlain, that had been stolen from the collection by E. Forbes Smiley, in his infamous stealing spree.
Parents should take note: Mr. Grim originally got interested in maps when his family traveled every summer and he would help his father plan the trip. Mr. Grim has grown from that child interested in maps and planning routes to the professional he is today, surrounded by priceless maps and atlases every day.
The public is welcome to attend the talk. For more information, call the Library at 508-548-8961.