This guide is intended to aid in the navigation of the Sanborn Map Collection held by University of Maryland Libraries and the Digital Sanborn Maps. Email or phone the subject specialist or author of this guide for more information and assistance.
The Maryland Room
Located on the first floor of Hornbake Library North, the Maryland Room serves as the reading room for Special Collections and University Archives. All materials from our collections must be viewed in the reading room.
The Maryland Room is open to University of Maryland students, faculty, and staff; faculty, students, and staff from other colleges and universities; local, national, and international scholars; and members of the general public. You do not need an appointment to view materials in the Maryland Room.
Materials accessed in the Maryland Room are only available to view in the reading room, and do not circulate. For directions, hours, and other information, please visit the Maryland Room homepage.
What are Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps?
The Sanborn Map Company is an American publisher of historical and current maps of U.S. cities and towns that were initially created to estimate fire insurance liabilities. Founded by D.A. Sanborn in 1867, the company created hand-made and colored lithograph maps of over 12,000 cities and towns across the United States and set the standard for fire insurance maps of the era.
Today, the historic Sanborn Maps provide us with a detailed understanding of the physical make up of these cities and towns, and give us insight into the existing social, political, and economic conditions in specific places and times.