Historical fire insurance maps drawn by the Sanborn Map Company are widely regarded as an invaluable tool for researching the history, growth and development of American communities. Founded in 1866, the Sanborn Map Company served as a leading American producer of fire insurance maps for nearly 150 years. The company produced large-scale, color-coded plans of about 12,000 U.S. cities, towns and neighborhoods, with details on construction, building materials and use for each building - data that at the time was used to estimate fire insurance liabilities. Today, they are valued by researchers and scholars in such fields as geography, architecture, city planning, family history and urban archaeology.
Many libraries and archives in the Sacramento provide access to the Sacramento maps in print, microfilm and digital formats. Local institutions that carry Sanborn maps in at least one of these formats include the California State Library, Sacramento Public Library, Center for Sacramento History, and Sacramento State University Library.
IMAGE CREDIT: San Diego, California, Wide View and Detail; courtesy www.sanborn.com.