[ISHMap-List] Preview of the Forbes Smiley book

Tony Campbell tonycampbellockendon at gmail.com
Mon May 12 21:45:35 CEST 2014

Preview of the Forbes Smiley book

'Yale's Map Thief story told in new book ' (Jim Shelton for the New 
Haven Register, 11 May 2014)


A preview of Michael Blanding's/The Map Thief/due out in June.

It includes some new material based on the author's six-hour interview 
with*Forbes Smiley*. Now known as 'Ed', rather than Forbes, he was 
working as a landscape labourer.

One or two extracts:

“The Sterling Library is the first place I realized I had access to 
material that was not well-catalogued, and it wasn’t clear it would be 
missed,” Smiley told Blanding. “I am looking at a piece of paper that I 
can fold and put in my pocket, that people in New York expect me to show 
up with because I’ve been doing this for 25 years legitimately.”

“There’s something of a Greek tragedy in the hubris he showed,” Blanding 
said. Smiley told him, “The libraries weren’t using these things, and 
I’m building collections where they are going to be used.” After 
Smiley’s arrest, Yale closed its map department for months. Reese and 
others conducted a thorough examination of the collection, finding that 
a number of other maps were missing as well. According to Blanding’s 
book, Yale found 30 catalog cards for missing maps in the office of Fred 
Musto, curator of Sterling’s map collection. The university fired Musto 
for gross mismanagement.

Graham Arader chips in with: “Not only was (Smiley) stealing stuff, he 
was selling copies of maps as the real thing.”

Tony Campbell

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