Considered a treasure trove of American history sought after by genealogists, urban planners, sociologists and a gamut of other researchers, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, first created beginning in 1867 for assessing fire insurance liability for buildings in U.S. cities, are now available to the public for more than 300 locations in Indiana.
The Sanborn Company designated Indiana University’s Herman B Wells Library Map Collections as the repository for the original Indiana Sanborn paper maps which the company produced between 1883 and 1966. A recent joint project between IU and Historical Information Gatherers Inc. now provides digital color versions of the maps to the Indiana Spatial Data Portal (ISDP).
A 2011 grant from IndianaView funded the digital archiving of the 10,020 public-domain maps and 1,497 copyright-restricted maps that represent 305 different Indiana locations.
IU Bloomington Libraries serves as the repository for Indiana maps and holds the rights to make the pre-1924 maps available to the public. They are available here. Black-and-white versions from the Digital Sanborn Fire Insurance database that are licensed for use by IU students and faculty can also be found here.
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