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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find maps by state?
How can I find maps by city?
How can I find maps by date?
What if I want look at a different map?
What program do I need to view maps?
Why do the maps have so many sheets?
Why aren't these maps in color?
How can I tell what all the abbreviations on the maps stand for?
How many Sanborn Maps are in this collection?
How do I find a specific address?
Why are multiple dates listed?

How can I find maps by state?
Click on the 'Browse Maps' button to access the first step of your map location. From here, you can select your desired state using the drop-down menu. All states available to your institution will display in the drop-down menu. If your institution only has access to one state, you will not see a drop-down menu here; instead, the state's name will appear and you will be automatically taken to a screen where you can select a city.
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How can I find maps by city?
Once you have selected a state, you will be taken to a page displaying the relevant cities for that state. From here, you can select your desired city using the drop-down menu.
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How can I find maps by date?
Once you have selected a city, you will be taken to a page displaying available map dates for that city. From here, you can select your desired map date using the drop-down menu.
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What if I want to look at a different map?
The drop-down menus for state, city, and date remain at the top of the screen when you are viewing the thumbnails. At any point, you can begin your search again by clicking on the 'Start Over' button located in the toolbar. Additionally, you can use the drop-down menus to change your map.
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What program do I need to view maps?
You can view your maps in your Internet browser. There is no need for another image viewing program. If you choose to download maps, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat. To download Adobe Acrobat, click here.
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Why do the maps have so many sheets?
Each Sanborn Map is divided into numbered sheets, each approximately 65x55 cm. If you arranged all the sheets together on the floor, you would have a complete, but very large map! Because streets and buildings are located on various sheets, you need to use the key and index sheets to navigate.Maps with several sheets also include a key sheet and/or an index sheet. A key sheet provides a birds-eye view of the city. You will be able to see sheet numbers (or volume numbers) over different areas of the town. You can then browse the sheet thumbnails to pull up the sheet you are looking for. An index sheet provides an alphabetical list of streets (usually including block numbers) and prominent buildings, labeled "specials." The index refers you to the sheet number for that address or building. For more information on the collection, go to the About Digital Sanborn Maps screen.
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Why aren't these maps in color?
We are scanning the Sanborn Maps from our microfilm collection of maps, which were originally filmed in black and white. We are looking into the costs and possibilities of producing a color version at a later stage. Because we would have to scan the original maps, this would drive up our costs and the costs to libraries. We want to be sure this project would still be affordable to those libraries interested in a color collection.
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How can I tell what all the abbreviations on the maps stand for?
There are two legends you can use with the maps: the original key and a black and white key, which was developed specifically for use with black and white copies of Sanborn maps. Color on the original Sanborn maps indicates building material, such as stone or wood. The black and white key lists markings on the maps that indicate building material. The earlier versions of Sanborn maps do not include these markings and rely solely on color to list building material. Symbols not indicating building material are the same on both legends.

Note: Because the key is a detailed file, it must be large so that you can view it completed. As a result, it may take a while for the key to load onto your computer screen.
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Copyright © 2008 ProQuest, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All copyright in the Sanborn Maps are held by Environmental Data Resources, Inc. or its affiliates