Preserving New York History by Dry Cleaning Its Oldest Maps

Galvanized by tragedies and natural disasters in New York and abroad, a group of workers at the Municipal Archives in Manhattan have set about the urgent task of preserving the city’s oldest treasures, including hundreds of maps of post-colonial New York. According to the New York Times, “The goal of nursing the maps back to health is to make them a relevant, informative part of New York’s DNA and to bring its history to life in a way that text-heavy records — like dense crime reports, handwritten government files or documents about New Amsterdam, penned in Dutch — might not be able to.”

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