Exhibit | March 8, 2016

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at BPL to Host Exhibit, "From the Sea to the Mountains"

image007.jpgBOSTON - The exhibition From the Sea to the Mountains: The Trustees 125th Anniversary opens at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (NBLMC) at the Boston Public Library on Saturday, April 2, 2016 and runs through August 28, 2016. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and The Trustees, featuring maps, photographs, and historic items from both collections to document the Trustees 125-year history of stewardship, conservation, and access to over 100 properties throughout Massachusetts. The Trustees is Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organization and the world’s first land preservation nonprofit known for caring for cultural, natural, and scenic sites for public use and enjoyment. 

“The exhibition is an opportunity for visitors to explore through dynamic visuals the great state of Massachusetts, enjoying all that has been conserved through the dedicated work of the Trustees,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. 

From the Sea to the Mountains will give viewers a greater understanding of the rich history of Massachusetts from a variety of perspectives,” said Robert Melzer, Chair of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to collaborate with The Trustees and honor the past and present of the Commonwealth in a unique way.”

In celebration of The Trustees 125th anniversary, the exhibition features 70 items including maps, photographs, and historical items. Visitors will be introduced to Trustees properties, become familiar with a number of distinctive map formats, learn about natural landforms and geologic terms, and cultivate an appreciation for the natural, historical, and cultural treasures of Massachusetts.

“How appropriate to view our history through the lens of a map exhibition as we have literally been transforming, influencing, and saving the landscape of the Commonwealth for 125 years,” adds Barbara Erickson, Trustees President & CEO. “From the bird's-eye view, we can see how the state has changed; what has been saved, lost, and where our future lies.”

Examples of a variety of rare and unique maps from the 19th century to the present will be on display, including bird’s-eye views, town plans, tourist, trail, topographic, and GIS maps.  Historic and modern photographs of Trustees properties will also be on view, as well items once belonging to prior owners depicting how they lived on and enjoyed gardening, recreating, fishing, hunting, reading, picnicking and more at these iconic places.

In 1891 landscape architect Charles Eliot asserted the bold idea to form an organization that would preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.  At a time when land conservation and ‘being green’ was not widely discussed, his vision was forward thinking. Today, the organization he founded, The Trustees, oversees more than 26,000 acres of preserved places from the Atlantic Coast to the Berkshire Mountains.

The Leventhal Map Center is located in the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street. It is open Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday: 1- 5 p.m. The best entrance to use is the Dartmouth Street entrance via the McKim building, which faces Copley Square. 

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center is ranked among the top 10 map centers in the United States for the size of its collection, the significance of its historic (pre-1900) material, and its advanced digitization program. It is unique among the major collections because it also combines these features with exceptional educational and teacher training programs to advance geographic literacy among students in grades K-12 and enhance the teaching of subjects from history to mathematics to language arts. The collection is also the second largest in the country located in a public library, ensuring unlimited access to these invaluable resources for scholars, educators, and the general public. The Leventhal Map Center, created in 2004, is a nonprofit organization established as a public-private partnership between the Boston Public Library and philanthropist Norman Leventhal. Its mission is to use the Boston Public Library’s permanent collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases and a select group of rare maps collected by Mr. Leventhal for the enjoyment and education of all through exhibitions, educational programs, and a website that includes thousands of digitized maps at maps.bpl.org. The map collection is global in scope, dating from the 15th century to the present, with a particular strength in maps and atlases of Boston, Massachusetts, and New England.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.


Funded by nearly 125,000 members and supporters, The Trustees saves and shares some of Massachusetts’ most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment and believes in protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever. Its mission is to connect more people to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living by using its 114 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 3,500 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform.  Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.6 million people in 2015, Trustees properties span more than 26,000 acres across the state - from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. In addition to its properties, The Trustees is also an active leader in land conservation, holding conservation restrictions on more than 20,000 acres, more than any other entity. In 2014, The Trustees became a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation where it operates an Appleton Farms vendor booth and serves as the educational programming partner for the Market’s demonstration KITCHEN. To learn more, visit: www.thetrustees.org.

Image: George Eldridge (d. 1900). Eldridge's Map of Martha's Vineyard. Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, 1913. Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library