Alexandria Library Acquires Unique Historic Map and Ledger


A 1796 map—which would be the earliest of its kind to be owned by the city—and 200‐plus page ledger will find a home at the Alexandria Library. The acquisition of the extraordinary documents, which belonged to Charles Alexander and were used in a case that was heard by the Supreme Court, was celebrated with members of the historic Alexandria community. The Library is pleased to house the manuscript map and related ledger of land records at one of the city’s leading establishments that focuses on local history and genealogy: The Special Collections Branch at 717 Queen Street.


“I’m amazed that it’s alive, still here and hasn’t perished,” said the branch’s manager, George Combs, who found the map truly remarkable.  Noting that the map was created with more detail, coloration and character than your typical manuscript map, he recognizes that it will be a prized possession.  “Initially I didn’t think we’d be able to acquire it, especially during these financial times.”  


Pulling together to make this momentous feat possible, were contributions of several organizations. This group, led by the Alexandria Library Company, also include the Alexandria Forum, Alexandria Historical Society, the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, and the Historic Alexandria Foundation.  


“Within the historic community, we all agreed the documents should remain in town,” said Rose Dawson, Alexandria Library’s Director.  “We appreciated the fact that Gary Eyler, the map’s owner and seller, supported working with the team to make it happen.  The Map and Ledger are just a few items we hope to use to heighten public awareness about Alexandria’s rich past.”


The timing of the acquisition couldn’t be better, as the Library celebrates its 75th anniversary as a public institution this year. 


Click here for the NPR clip.