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How do you read Sanborn Fire Insurance maps online?

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Quick Answer

Researchers can view Sanborn Fire Insurance maps online by searching the Library of Congress’ collection, using university libraries in different states and requesting a trial access to the maps through ProQuest. D.A. Sanborn started publishing the maps in 1867; the 660,000 color documents recorded the use of buildings, their location and dimensions in 13,000 towns and cities across the United States, as reported by Proquest.com.

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Full Answer

The Library of Congress’ collection of over 50,000 Sanborn maps includes over 700 that are available online. The resource provides articles and explanations on how to read and use the maps; samplers show the maps value for research, broken down further by an article demonstrating how to create a time series with the maps, as published by Loc.gov.

The University of Buffalo in New York and other participating state colleges provide access to state-specific Sanborn maps for students, staff and alumni. Guests who visit the campus with a pass can also use the online resource, as stated by Buffalo.edu.

ProQuest provides access to Sandborn maps for researcher and libraries. The company’s extensive collection breaks down the maps by state. Individuals or institutions request a trial by submitting a form with details about the scope and purpose of the research, as noted by Proquest.com.

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