Map and Geography Library
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
The Map and Geography Library has a large collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Illinois cities. Sanborn maps were made to assist insurance underwriters in determining fire insurance rates for individual buildings by examining the buildings' construction methods, heat and lighting sources, manufacturing uses, and the same attributes of nearby buildings. The maps primarily provide information on the downtown areas of cities and adjoining residential areas. They are especially useful in providing a record of urban development from the 1880s through the first half of the twentieth century. Family historians may also find them interesting.
Map and Geography Library personnel will retrieve Sanborn maps for patrons upon request. Sanborn maps are available for consultation Mondays through Fridays, 9:00am-4:30pm. The Map and Geography Library can also provide information about other libraries that have Sanborn map coverage of cities in states not included in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library Sanborn collection.