Two vintage landowner atlases from the Lucas County Historical Society collection, one published in 1896 and the other, in 1912, have now been digitalized and as of Wednesday are available online for everyone to use and enjoy.
These are valuable resources for anyone interested in Lucas County history and/or genealogy and the society is delighted to be able to share them widely via The University of Iowa's Iowa Digital Library. You can access the cover page of that library's Historic Atlases collection here.
Or, you may go directly to the 1896 atlas by using this link; and to the 1912 atlas, by using this link.
So far as we know, the 1896 atlas is the earliest published for Lucas County, which probably makes it the most valuable resource, but the 1912 atlas certainly is interesting, too.
The process that moved these volumes from our library into cyberspace began last year when Mary McInroy, of the University of Iowa Libraries map collection, contacted us. University Libraries already had added many county atlases to its online collection, but had been unable to locate copies of early Lucas County volumes to scan.
She asked if the society would be willing to share atlases from our collection for that purpose and the LCHS Board readily agreed. By doing so, we not only would make them widely available but also cut down on wear and tear to the original books, which after a century are fragile.
In the spring, Marilyn Johnson, Betty Cross and I hand-delivered the atlases to McInroy at University Libraries because (a) we wanted to snoop in the maps collection and (b) because were were insecure about our ability to pack the atlases for safe shipment.
In the months that have followed, the atlases have been scanned, minor repairs have been made to them by University Libraries conservators and custom-built archival boxes have been made for both. They will be on their way home to Chariton next week.
In the meantime, everyone at the Lucas County Historical Society hopes others will find these volumes as interesting and useful as we have.