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On the Map

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Edward Redmond, a reference specialist in the Library of Congress’ Geography and Map Division, denotes an area on a historical map of Washington, D.C.

Jumping forward to 1962, there’s a map clipped from a newspaper showing the D.C. school zones — for “whites” and “coloreds.” In 1974, a similar map plots out an integrated school system. 

D.C.’s geography is still changing, from north of Massachusetts Avenue to the Southwest Waterfront of the Potomac to the development along the Anacostia. 

But how these areas change from year to year won’t be documented by meticulous hand-drawings on scrolls of aging paper.

“New maps will be digital,” Ehrenberg said, lingering over one such map. “They won’t be in this form.”

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