AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is so big that even Santa needs a map – or three.
Historical maps posted on the Texas General Land Office website make quick, easy gifts for anyone who loves the Lone Star State and its colorful past. But best of all, proceeds from the sales preserve historic documents and help Save Texas History.
“Buying a map at SaveTexasHistory.com is not only a breeze, it will help preserve the very documents that tell the story of Texas,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “We receive no funding from the Legislature to preserve the priceless historical documents we are entrusted with — this is how we do it.”
Maps from the General Land Office are not just beautiful and unique gifts, they’re educational, Patterson notes. “Texas history is an epic tale,” Patterson said. “These maps don’t just tell that history — they show it.”
For example, Patterson said, a German map of the Kingdom of New Spain — hand-drawn in 1720 — shows that Texas began as a part of the Spanish Empire, ruled from Mexico. “The first illegal immigrants to Texas had names a lot like mine,” Patterson said. “Understanding our history gives you the context you need to better deal with the issues of today. Plus, this map just looks great on any wall.”
A perennial top-seller is an 1845 commemorative map showing the full size of the Republic of Texas when it stretched all the way up to present-day Colorado. Another favorite is an 1889 map — the first of its kind — that shows Texas as it is today, and is decorated with period advertising around the margins.
These and hundreds of other great maps can be found at www.savetexashistory.org. Click the “search entire catalogue” button to go to our archive of over 80,000 city, county and state maps. Once on the archive page, select the "Bestselling Maps" search filter in red to see a set of more than 200 attractive maps specifically selected to be great gifts.
Most maps at www.savetexashistory.org cost as little as $20. Online and phone orders before 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20th can be delivered by Christmas Day. Orders can also be called in directly to the Archives and Records Division of the Land Office at 1-800-998-4GLO (4456). Maps may be purchased at the General Land Office, 1700 N. Congress Ave., through Monday, Dec. 23.
The Save Texas History Program is a unique campaign that brings together private and government efforts to preserve the 35 million maps and documents at the Texas General Land Office.
After items are conserved, they’re digitally preserved and made available to the public via the Internet. The Digital Preservation Project of the Save Texas History Program has been recognized by the Texas Historical Commission for its monumental effort to digitally preserve these historic treasures.
To search for maps, place orders, or make a monetary donation to the Save Texas History Program, visit www.savetexashistory.org or call the Land Office toll-free at 1-800-998-4GLO.