Christopher Baruth has retired as Curator of the American Geographical Society Library (AGSL) at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Libraries, where he worked for 31 years. He started at AGSL in 1980 as Map and Imagery Librarian, becoming Interim Curator in 1995 and Curator, as well as Assistant Director of UWM Libraries, in 1998.
In his leadership role, Baruth oversaw a substantial increase of resources, including the Archives of the Association of American Geographers and the McColl Collection; the procurement of a major NEH grant for photographic preservation; the expansion of visiting fellowship programs; a comprehensive recataloging project; and the
establishment of digital spatial data services. He also initiated the ongoing digitization of the collection and its placement online.
He received the Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Geography and Map Division of the Special Libraries Association in 1993, and the Honors Award from the Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association in 2001.
His publications include GEODEX: GEOgraphic InDEX System for Map Series (1988), a system that allowed AGSL to build one of the largest automated cartobibliographies in the world with over 350,000 entries; articles in Geographical Review, Journal of the International Map Collectors’ Society, and Care and Conservation of Manuscripts; and a chapter in The Map Library in the New Millennium.
Baruth has been active nationally and internationally in his field, serving as Executive Director of the North American Cartographic Information Society from 1990 to 2001, and as a member of the Standing Committee for Geography and Map Libraries of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions 1999-2003.