Thanks to the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers, the Redwood Library is able to process thousands of donated books every year. Often these volunteers are the first ones to “rediscover” a particularly interesting or unique item and begin to research its historical and/or cultural significance. Niall Tarrell is one of the Redwood’s most dependable and resourceful volunteers.
Recently, he came across a series of four maps of Europe by G.W. Bacon & Company, Ltd. Each map represents one quadrant of Europe, and is backed in linen – a standard practice that gives the thin paper some added support. As is often the case with special collections items, these maps were a bit of a mystery, and included no date. Through careful research and observation, Niall was able to determine that the maps were from prior to 1917 – the cities in Russia had their pre-revolution names. A little more digging and it was discovered that the maps had been made in 1914, by an ex-pat by the name of George Washington Bacon, who was born in New York in 1830, and relocated to London in 1861.
Bacon had a variety of businesses, but due to poor management and extremely diverse interests, he declared bankruptcy in 1867. At this point, Bacon rededicated himself to map printing, his original vocation, and became quite successful before his death in 1922. Thanks to Niall and all the other Redwood volunteers for helping us expand our expertise and bring the fascinating treasures of the Library to the public!
Does this sound like something you would love to do? Have any talents that you would like to share with the Redwood? Check out our volunteer page for information: http://redwoodlibrary.org/volunteering