Available until August 17: a trial to the Digital Sanborn Maps: 1867-1970

Thanks to a request from Dr. Frank Rashid in the Marygrove College English department, the Marygrove community can enjoy a trial to the Digital Sanborn Maps: 1867-1970.

This trial can be accessed until August 17, 2012. If you are a Marygrove student, staff person, or faculty member, please contact any librarian for the link to the Sanborn Maps.

Here’s more about this collection from ProQuest:

Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970 provides academic and public libraries digital access to more than 660,000 large-scale maps of more than 12,000 American towns and cities.

Sanborn fire insurance maps are the most frequently consulted maps in both public and academic libraries. Sanborn maps are valuable historical tools for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, local historians, planners, environmentalists and anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth, and development of American cities, towns, and neighborhoods. They are large-scale plans containing data that can be used to estimate the potential risk for urban structures. This includes information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.

Textual information on construction details (for example, steel beams or reinforced walls) is often given on the plans while shading indicates different building materials. Extensive information on building use is given, ranging from symbols for generic terms such as stable, garage, and warehouse to names of owners of factories and details on what was manufactured in them. In the case of large factories or commercial buildings, even individual rooms and the uses to which they were put are recorded on the maps. Other features shown include pipelines, railroads, wells, dumps, and heavy machinery.

Founded in 1867 by D. A. Sanborn, the Sanborn Map Company was the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years.

Digital Sanborn Maps was created from ProQuest Information and Learning’s microfilm collection of 660,000 Sanborn Maps, which were filmed from the Library of Congress’ collection. The Library’s Sanborn collection includes all maps submitted to the Library through copyright deposit and a set of maps transferred to the Library from the Bureau of the Census. Maps from the Bureau of the Census include corrections issued by the Sanborn Company that were pasted over the original map sheet. Maps acquired through copyright deposit remain in their original form.

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