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LIBRARY TALK – JULY 31, 2022

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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
Thanks to the Ripley Friends of the Library and the Wave Foundation/Newport Aquarium in making the visit of the sting rays possible last week. What amazing creatures. We had about 100 people join us in seeing, learning and even touching the rays.
One of our favorite resources is access to the Sanborn maps–Ripley maps are 1884, 1890, 1895, 1904. 1920 and a revised 1932. Sanborn maps were created for use by fire insurance companies, so the maps would show building material, where cisterns were located, how many floors high the buildings were as well as a pretty detailed ‘foot print’ of the building. Over the years looking at one building, you can see the addition or removal of a porch, room additions, garages etc., etc. Often there was notations as to what kind of business, along with the business name. The maps were color-coded for the building material, but what we have had for years was only black & white, leaving out some of the details. We originally had it on microfilm, then it became available on-line in black & white. Recently, we were looking at a building to answer a reference question, using the on-line version via our website (or direct https://sanborn.ohioweblibrary.org/) and typing in Ripley. What intrigued us was once we opened up a map, on the righthand side there is a link to the full color version available from Kent State University. Sure enough, hit the link and the yellows (frame), pinks (brick) and other color-coded information becomes visible. In some cases, the writing is much easier to read as well. We believe the Ripley Museum has one example of the original copy Sanborn maps, and of course that is the very best way to see it, but this is a close second. Have fun!
This is a snippet of one of the 1895 Ripley maps.
Matthew