I've been working on our map wall for what seems to be forever (more info on that here & here), but we're almost close. We have just ONE more frame to go and the whole thing will be complete. Until then, I'll be sharing some snippets and some tips for getting free, unique art prints.
Today's post goes out to the good old US of A for providing all of us with access to the awesome Library of Congress Digital Archives. Intended to share American documents & visual history with all citizens, not just those that can visit the museums in DC regularly, it's an easy to search, easy to download site with a TON of cool content.
Jesse came across the Library of Congress Map Collections site when looking for old maps and found a wealth of options. You can search across many categories - cities & towns, military battles & campaigns, general maps, conservation & environment, etc. Since we have a mix of new maps & old, artsy maps & road maps, some vintage maps were the perfect addition to our wall and made great focal pieces as our largest maps.
We went with an old Knickerbocker Beer ad that features a very detailed street map of NYC. You can see our old apartment building on this and I love it:
...and a much older map of the western hemisphere, in black and white, complete with illustrated mountain ranges, waves, & sea monsters...
...and finally an illustrated map of North America. I love how rustic this one is and I like that it's in French (most of our maps are in English, except one from Thailand and one from Spain):
My point is that the Library of Congress has SO many options for maps & more. Everything is downloaded for public use, though you can't distribute or sell them. If you have access to a good printer (we do) or patience for Kinkos, you can easily download the maps that fit your taste.
There are also photographs, art prints, baseball cards, drawings, sound recordings, newspapers, American memorabilia, cartoons, & more at the main Library of Congress site. Isn't this an awesome wealth of information for citizens to peruse?
Check it out and stay homey!