Magazine article American Libraries

Map Dealer Now Admits Library Theft

Magazine article American Libraries

Map Dealer Now Admits Library Theft

Article excerpt

Some 10 months after pleading not guilty to stealing more than 100 rare maps worth about $3 million (AL, Sept. 2005, p. 14), map collector and dealer E. Forbes Smiley III pleaded guilty June 22 in federal court to one count of theft and later that day in a Connecticut court to three counts of larceny. All counts relate to thefts from Yale University.

Smiley has also admitted to taking, during an eight-year period, 97 maps from the New York and Boston public libraries, Chicago's Newberry Library, Harvard University, and the British Library. He has aided investigators in recovering all but 11, five of which have been lost and six of which have not been returned by private collectors who acquired them.

Smiley is suspected in additional map thefts from the same libraries. Officials at Harvard University's Houghton Library have released a list of five maps they think Smiley took--beyond the eight from that library he has confessed to stealing--and the British Library suspects Smiley of three more thefts, the Associated Press reported July 30. …

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