updated 10/15/2006 4:40:42 AM ET 2006-10-15T08:40:42

A man who admitted stealing rare and valuable old maps from libraries has been sentenced to five years in a Connecticut prison.

E. Forbes Smiley III, 50, of Chilmark, Mass., will serve the time concurrently with the 3½-year federal sentence he is scheduled to start on Jan. 4. His attorney, Richard Reeve, said Friday that Smiley probably will spend about three years in prison if he behaves behind bars.

Smiley admitted taking 97 maps in eight years from the New York and Boston public libraries, the Newberry Library in Chicago, Harvard University library and British Library in London. The maps, many of which he sold to dealers, were valued at around $3 million. All but six have been recovered.

The oldest maps that he admitted stealing dated from the 1500s, and some are the first records of settlements, territories and discoveries in America, experts said.

Smiley pleaded guilty in federal court in June to one count of theft of major artwork in the theft of a map from Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

He later pleaded guilty to three larceny charges in state court in the Yale thefts.

Smiley, at one time a respected maps dealer, also must pay about $2 million in restitution.

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