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In 1999, the Indiana Collection of the Indiana State Library purchased a microfilm set of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Indiana cities and towns. These maps can be used to trace the development of Indiana municipalities from the 1880's to the middle of the 1950's. As many as ten different editions were produced for some Indiana towns.
Sanborn maps are valuable historical tools for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, local historians, planners, environmentalists and anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth, and development of Indiana's cities, towns, and neighborhoods.
Features of the maps include: outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights and functions of structures, and location of windows and doors.
The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.
The staff of the Indiana Collection are able to make photocopies of particular houses, streets, and intersections on these maps. Photocopy request by phone, email, and mail will be charged using the current ISL service fee schedule.
You may e-mail questions about the Indiana Sanborn maps. You may also contact the Proquest Company about obtaining subscription information for online access to digitized Sanborn maps.
Using this listing
Due to its length, the list of Indiana Sanborn Maps has been divided alphabetically into four sections which can be accessed at the top of this page.
The following shows the type of information found in a typical entry for a city on the list:
Gary (Lake County; including Miller)
1) "Gary" is the name of the community which is listed as the title of the volume of Sanborn maps.
2) "Lake County" is the county in which Gary is located.
3) "including" indicates the names of the satellite committees which are included in the Gary maps.
4) "v. 1" indicates that this entry is part of a multi-volume set on the microfilm.
5) "1915-1951" indicates that this edition of Gary maps was published in 1915 and revised through 1951.
Click on the small image below to see a full-scale version of the key to symbols used on the Sanborn maps.
Indiana University has digitized many pre-1923 Sanborn maps in color. These are listed by city, year and sheet number.
If you have a need to research the history of a site in Indianapolis, the IUPUI University Library has recently developed extensive metadata for a set of 1887 and 1898 Indianapolis Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from ISL's collection.
The IUPUI Digital Library Team scanned the original paper maps, developed the metadata, and built the web interface where you can search for a specific company or site by name or address or search for all sites of a given type like "ammonia works", "gas works", "coal yards", etc.
Access the maps at: http://ulib.iupui.edu/digitalscholarship/collections/sanbornjp2
1. Click 'Advanced Search'
2. Check the box for 'Indianapolis Sanborn Map Collection'
3. Click 'Selected Fields' at the top of the search box
4. Use the pull-down menu 'in the ________ field' and choose 'Landmark Name' or 'Landmark Type' or 'Streets / Address Range'
5. Click 'Show Terms' to select from the list of valid metadata entries.
6. Click 'Search' to retrieve the map(s) where that search term appears