Sanborn Maps

House plans, laptop, rolled drawings

With all the chaos created by COVID  in 2020, it is not surprising if you have missed a few announcements about maps!

Produced from 1867 to the present, the Sanborn Maps were originally created for the fire insurance companies.  They are large scale maps of over 12,000 cities and towns in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The maps provide details about residential and commercial buildings and today provide information for multiple purposes including family histories.

The Library Congress holds somewhere around 700,000 individual sheets and it is the largest extant collection of maps produced by the Sanborn Co.

In 2014, in partnership with Historical Information Gatherers, the Library of Congress began scanning all of their public domain Sanborn maps.  This process was completed in 2020.  Maps published before 1923 and any maps that did not renew a copywrite prior to 1963 are now available.  As maps come out of copywrite, they will be scanned as well.