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Digital Sanborn® Maps (1867-1970) delivers detailed property and land-use records that depict the grid of everyday life in more than 12,000 U.S. towns and cities across a century of change.
Sanborn® fire insurance maps are the most frequently consulted maps in libraries. Founded in 1867 by D. A. Sanborn, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years, repeatedly mapping towns and cities as they changed.
The maps provide a wealth of information, such as building outline, size and shape, windows and doors, street and sidewalk widths, boundaries, and property numbers. Plans often include details on construction materials and building use; and also depict pipelines, railroads, wells, water mains, dumps, and other features likely to affect the property's vulnerability to earthquake, fire, and flood.
Combined with other sources such as city directories, photographs, small-scale maps, census records, genealogies, and statistical data, the Sanborn maps provide an unparalleled picture of life in American towns and cities.
Accessing Digital Sanborn Maps
The original Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps collection on microfilm has long been one of the few comprehensive sets for the entire U.S., with some 660,000 maps. Digital Sanborn Maps makes available enhanced digital images of this collection.
Learn more about this product and others that directly support research into the genealogy and local history, including:
- HeritageQuest® Online features an incredible storehouse of American genealogical information from primary sources, local and family histories, and other finding aids
- Ancestry® Library Edition features over 200 billion images in more than 7,000 unique databases via a library edition of the popular ancestry.com
- ProQuest® Historical Newspapers delivers a definitive digital archive of significant regional, national, and international newspaper
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