At the May meeting of the Cuyahoga Valley Genealogical Society tonight, I learned about the map digitization effort underway at the Cleveland Public Library's Map Department. Tom Edwards was the featured presenter at the meeting. He is the map librarian for CPL, where he had been employed for some 20 years.
Edwards presented an overview of the different types of historic maps and discussed briefly how they can be used in genealogical and family history research.
The important aspect of his presentation, however, was using the Internet to access some maps in the department's collection that have been digitized and put online to be searched by anyone with Internet access. I immediately went home and followed his instructions to do a Google search for "Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery." That search string took me immediately to department's home page at http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/
From the selections offered, I chose "Advanced Search" to search for an 1858 Brecksville map that he had used as an example. It popped right up on my home computer screen and I was able to zoom in on the southwest corner of the township. There was Lot 35 identified as belonging to Seth Paine, the original settler in the township. By 1858, Paine was deceased, but the property was still listed in his name. I was able to make a high resolution capture of this section of the map for possible use in the Brecksville Bicentennial History book project.
I know I will be using this resource more in the future.