Thursday, April 03, 2008

Three New Digital Collections Now Accessible through Libraries' DMR

by Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Students, faculty, researchers, and scholars worldwide now have online access to three new resources through the Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository (DMR), a project of the University Libraries.

The Muncie Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps Collection includes 200 maps showing the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of Muncie, Indiana from 1883 through 1911. The maps were originally produced by the Sanborn Map Company® to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard and establish premiums for particular properties.

Today these maps are used by students and scholars in a variety of fields, including history, urban planning, historic preservation, and genealogy. An online tutorial entitled “Maps and Cartography: Using Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps” by Melissa S. Gentry, Map Collections Assistant, and a handout on how to search this collection in the DMR will be available online soon.

The Chapbook Collection consists of 174 chapbooks including many donated by the Elisabeth Ball, and 50 chapbooks purchased by Archives and Special Collections through the Martin D. and Helen B. Schwartz Fund.

The collection offers a rich and valuable resource for students, scholars and others interested in 19th century popular literature, literacy, children’s literature and education, and the history of the book. Subjects range from moral instruction to the ABCs to advertisements for patent medicines and soap.

The Hague Sheet Music Collection includes 151 pieces of sheet music donated to Ball State University Libraries by Elizabeth Hague in 2006. The sheet music was collected by her father Frank Penwell. Most of the collection is arranged for piano and, strings and includes popular music titles, including songs from movies and vaudeville productions. For more information about these collections, contact Maren L. Read, Ball State University Libraries’ Archivist for Manuscript Collections,, 765-285-5078.

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