Founded in the spirit of lifelong learning and a deep commitment to our communities, the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine enables free public access to and engagement with five centuries of cartographic materials via University, K-12, and public educational outreach; the preservation and digitization of our collections; gallery exhibitions; research and scholarship; and public programming that collectively promotes the continued relevance of maps and mapping as tools to help patrons understand the past and the present, and to imagine the future.
Major gifts from Dr. Harold L. Osher and Peggy L. Osher and Lawrence M.C. and Eleanor Houston Smith founded the collections in the late-20th century. Today, the library holds more than half a million cartographic items. The library and its collections, exhibits, and programs are free and open to the public.