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Largest private map collection of 'California as Island' comes to Stanford

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by Kelly Fields | Thursday, August 30, 2012

California is an island. Always has been. Always will be.

A new Stanford Libraries acquisition of 800 maps from one of the nation's top map collectors, Glen McLaughlin, bolsters the claim: California was portrayed as an island on maps for well over a century.

"To my knowledge, it is the largest collection featuring California as an island in private hands in the world," said McLaughlin. "The collection was built over a 40-year time period, from 1971 to last year."

Cartographers call it the greatest snafu ever, persisting on a few Asian maps even into the 1860s. But perhaps those mapmakers sensed a deeper truth.

Article written by Cynthia Haven, Associate Director for Communications, Stanford University Libraries

Article reposted in part. To read the article in its entirety, see the August 30, 2012, Stanford Report.

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