1 Reply Latest reply on May 13, 2020 4:39 PM by Marene Baker

    Digital Edition of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

    LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

      Digital Edition of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps


      Last week, as part of its multi-year project to digitize the public-domain map sheets produced by the Sanborn Map Company, the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division uploaded 25 more states. The collection now covers 47 states and Washington D.C.  The Sanborn Atlases are a uniform series of large-scale maps, dating between 1880-1960, and depict commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some 12,000 cities and towns in the United States.


      The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.


      The Sanborn collection includes some fifty thousand editions of fire insurance maps comprising an estimated seven hundred thousand individual sheets. The Library of Congress holdings represent the largest extant collection of maps produced by the Sanborn Map Company. Historians, genealogists, and preservationists are sure to find something of interest.