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Alexandria Library Receives Gift Of 1796 Map

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A view of the 1796 map of Alexandria being donated to the city's library today.
Courtesy of Alexandria Library
A view of the 1796 map of Alexandria being donated to the city's library today.

The Alexandria Library is set to receive a significant gift of history today: a 1796 map and a ledger detailing early land ownership in the city. 

Many people assume that Alexandria, Va., is named for Alexandria, Egypt — home of the ancient Alexandria library. But it's not. It's actually named for the Alexander family, who owned much of what's now the city of Alexandria. 

Now the other Alexandria Library — the one in Old Town — is about to receive a map and ledger detailing the land ownership of Charles Alexander. 

"As we move into a new period in which electronic books and electronic databases are the direction in which things are going, the printed word should always remain a strong part of our history," says Rose Dawson, the library's director.

Several groups interested in the city's history funded the purchase of the acquisition, which cost $30,000. It's being given to the city's library system at no charge. The map and ledger will be on display for all to see this summer. The artifacts will be formally handed over in a ceremony this evening. 

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