Conservation of Texas Historical Map Sales Aid


Every holiday, Texas’ oldest state agency increases sales of high-resolution digitized reproductions of historical maps to help fund the preservation of fragile maps and other records, helping to preserve some of the heritage sole of the state.

Sales of more than 45,000 digitized map images, some of which come from original documents dating back centuries, have typically peaked each December since the Texas General Land Office began selling prints in 2000 to support its Save Texas History program. . Each year, the Land Office tries to spend around $100,000 preserving the most vulnerable parts of its inventory of 36 million records.

Card sales, at prices ranging from $20 to $40, generate approximately $120,000 a year, enabling the agency to meet its conservation goal and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per item to conserve valuable documents without spending taxpayers’ money. Since 2000, the agency has digitized many maps and documents used by surveyors, oil and gas producers and other professionals who can now download them online for free, rather than buying copies.

To offset this loss of revenue, while continuing to support map conservation, the Land Office promoted the sale of its iconic Texas, county, and local maps as frameable gifts during the holidays.

“The Save Texas History Collection maps in the GLO Archives make a perfect gift for that loved one who cherishes the unique history that sets Texans apart,” Lands Commissioner George P. Bush said last year in a statement. communicated. “When you buy a map of Texas from the General Land Office, you’re not just giving a unique Texas gift to a loved one; you are also investing in future generations of Texans.

Statewide, the top five selling maps are Stephen F. Austin’s 1830 rendering of Texas with parts of neighboring states; the 1845 map of Texas by American cartographer David H. Burr; Texas land agent Jacob De Cordova’s 1849 map of Texas; the Land Office Natural Heritage Map of 1986; and cartographer Carl Flemming’s 1844 map of Texas. Other popular maps include the John Davis Memorial Map of the Republic of Texas from 1986 and Bush’s Texas Energy Map from 2015.

In San Antonio, top-selling maps include the 1889 and 1895 city maps; an 1873 bird’s-eye illustration of the town and an 1887 map of Bexar County by civil engineering draftsman John D. Rullman.

Maps can be viewed at SaveTexasHistory.org. Online and phone orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Wednesday for delivery on Christmas Day. Call 800-998-4456 to order by phone.

Scott Huddleston is a staff writer for the San Antonio Express-News. Read more of his stories here. | [email protected] | @shuddlestonSA

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