"The fire insurance map is probably the single
most important record of urban growth and development in the United
States during the past one hundred years. It contains data used in
estimating the potential risk for urban structures and includes such
information as their construction material, height, and function
as well as the location of lot lines. The Sanborn Map Company has
been the dominant American publisher of fire insurance maps and atlases
for over seventy years. Founded by D. A. Sanborn in 1867, the firm
has issued and periodically updated detailed plans of 12,000 American
cities and towns."--Library
of Congress, Special Collections.
The Sanborn Map Company is still in business (owned by Environmental Data Resources) with emphasis on GIS products. Fire insurance maps for major cities are still available, as well as, Digital Orthophotographs, Planimetric maps, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), and other products.
Available Sanborn Collections
The University at Buffalo Map Collection has the
1991 edition of the city of Buffalo, on microfilm. This collection
provides valuable, detailed property data, showing individual lots,
buildings, and dimensions. The reels can be viewed in the Capen Multimedia Center. Below are samples of the
detail shown by these maps.
Sanborn Maps. The UB Libraries has a subscription
to the digital edition (available to the UB community), providing
electronic access to Sanborn fire insurance maps of cities and
towns in New York State (1867-1970). The maps are valuable tools
for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers,
genealogists, local historians, planners, and environmentalists.
See the quick introduction: How
to Locate Specific Digital Sanborn Maps for quick help on using
Digital Sanborn Maps: Who can use them? The
University Libraries subscribes to the Digital Sanborn Maps for New
York state only. All UB students and staff may access these as part
of our subscription, as well as those on campus with guest passes,
and those with UB Alumni or Friends of the Libraries memberships.
Our subscription is expensive and we are required to limit use to
this population. We cannot share access to anyone
who does not belong to one of the above groups.
Sanborn Maps at the University
of Virginia Library. In addition to digital Sanborns for Virginia cities, has history and information
on Sanborn Maps, including: