Why do I collect? The answer lies in my subconscious and I have yet to find it. What do I collect? In short, maps of northwest America.– Warren Heckrotte, Maps What I Collect and Why, California Map Society Occasional Paper No. 11
When asked what Mr. Heckrotte collected and why, he described his interest as such. "When I became interested in old maps (another story) there were in the San Francisco Bay Area several fine antiquarian book dealers who also dealt in maps. Their wares set my course. I recall: my first map of California gold region (really rare it turned out); a fine map of western exploration; a chart of the northwest coast issued by the Russian Maritime Ministry, which led to my first article on discovery and maps. Those initial steps led to others. The maps of western America record the transformation of a land that was terra incognita to western eyes to a land of cities, towns, villages, ranches, mines, roads and railroads. Perhaps that is the reason, on a conscious level, that I collect maps of western North America."