How to Locate Specific Digital Sanborn Maps
Connect to the Digital Sanborn Maps database. After making initial City and date selection, look at the Image Page (see illustration), look at the Index Sheet and the Key Sheet. These provide an index to sheets for the specific edition that you are viewing.

As soon as you have selected the image to view, choose "Download Map" on the pop-up screen menu.

Remember to do this each time you open a new image selection. It will allow you to view the entire image by scrolling, instead of by pushing "zoom" and "arrow" buttons.


The Index Sheet provides an alphabetical list of streets (usually including block numbers) and prominent buildings, labeled "specials." The index refers you to the sheet number for that address or building. For further searching tips, use the "Frequently Asked Questions" section located in the Help Index.

Using the example below, Niagara Street can be located on a number of sheets. If you choose the section on Sheet Number 11, you can see a map that includes this particular portion of Niagara Street. Niagara Square is included on Sheets 11, 15, and 16. See the example showing the same locations using the Key Sheet.

Note where Sheet 11 is on the Key Sheet. See a larger view (right).
You see Map Sheet 11, showing the Niagara Street and Niagara Square area. At this point, you can zoom in to see details, move around the map (choose Recenter button or use arrows on map edges) and can view details of a specific area.

This is a small portion of Sheet 11 showing a section along Niagara Street. You may download the image that you develop on the screen using either the "Save Image as," "Save Picture as," or you may save the entire Map Sheet 11 by using the "Download Map" link at the top of your browser window (opens the map as a pdf, which can be zoomed in/out).

Downloading allows you to save the file to your computer or jump drive.

You may also print the current view using the "Print Current View" selection at the top of your browser window.

Once you are viewing a particular city, you may select a new city using the pull-down box. image
You can select a different date using the pull-down box in the same way..

Additonal notes: You cannot move between Map Sheets without going back to the main index page.

For some cities and towns, the Key Sheet and Index Sheet are on the same sheet.

To see what various symbols are on each map, click on "Sanborn Maps Legend to view a pdf of the legend." There is also a lower resolution screen version available.

See the UMI Help page for more information and the Frequently Asked Questions page.

All Sanborn maps copyrighted © 2001 by The Sanborn Map Company, Sanborn Library, LLC. See their Terms and Conditions notice for more information. The above maps have had additional elements added to clarify concepts.

David J. Bertuca, Map Librarian, Arts & Sciences Libraries

Last Modified: 31 January 2014

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