Mapping It Out

December 17, 2010

Baylor held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Frances C. Poage Map Room and opening exhibit "Mapping It Out: A Cartographic History of Texas" on Oct. 28. Toby Lester, author of The Fourth Part of the World, presented a lecture, followed by a book signing and reception in the Texas Collection in Carroll Library.

The Frances C. Poage Map Room was established in the late 1980s by the late Congressman W.R. Poage, AB '21, LLB '24, in honor of his wife, Frances. The map collection, which focuses on Texas, exceeds 10,000 maps. The collection includes early maps dating back to the 17th century, Texas county maps and local maps, such as the 1869 plat map of Waco.

The new Poage Map Room was built to accommodate this expansive collection of Texas maps. This resource is available to Baylor and the community with hopes of incorporating the use of maps into the Baylor curriculum.

"Having this collection at Baylor is a true honor, and Baylor and Central Texas are fortunate to have it nearby. If not for the generous endowment provided by Congressman Poage, this lecture and new map room would not be possible," said John Wilson, director of library advancement and special projects at Baylor University Libraries.

The maps in the exhibit are to tell a story of Texas: from early exploration by the Spanish, through colonization, struggles for independence from Mexico and statehood before and after the Civil War. They document the presence and absence of Native American tribes and herds of wild horses. They demonstrate technological improvements and record political conflicts. These maps connect viewers to the land which captured the mapmakers' imaginations and invite them to recreate in their minds the storied history of Texas.