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Restoring Historical Texas Maps

When Texas was still Mexico the question of who owned what was decided by maps. Hundreds of them have been rotting away in filing cabinets for almost 2-hundred years. Starting Thursday some of them went on display, showing Texans what they stand to lose. O henry, Herman Pressler, Stephen F. Austin — characters who literally put Austin on the map. Now their original artworks, critical to Texas history, are being nursed out of critical condition. Sitting in the land office building since it was built back in 1834 hundreds of maps dating back to the 1820’s are brittle, flaky, and crumbling to pieces. Now, at about a thousand dollars a piece, they’re being bathed, treated, and put back together, in a painstaking and long overdue process. Thursday a toast to these Texas treasures, and the 200-thousand dollars donated in the adopt-a-map program that has so far saved 200 maps. But there are hundreds more to go.