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Maps, Atlases, Aerial Images and Cartographic Resources

What Is a Sanborn Map?

"The Sanborn map collection consists of a uniform series of large-scale maps, dating from 1867 to the present and depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some twelve thousand cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. They show the locations of water mains, giving their dimensions, and of fire alarm boxes and hydrants. Sanborn maps are thus an unrivaled source of information about the structure and use of buildings in American cities."

Citation: Fire insurance maps in the Library of Congress : plans of North American cities and towns produced by the Sanborn Map Company : a checklist compiled by the Reference and Bibliography Section, Geography and Map Division published by the Library of Congress in 1981.

With a few exceptions, the UCLA Library only owns Sanborn maps for the geographic area covering the city of Los Angeles. The Library's holdings are divided between four different formats: large printed volumes, small printed volumes, microfilm, and flat map sheets.

For more information, see the Library of Congress' Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps website.

A Visual Guide to UCLA's Sanborn Atlases

UCLA Sanborn Map Print Holdings

Large Print Volumes

Small Print Volumes


Print Volume: Santa Barbara, CA, including Miramar and Summerland

Microfilm: San Buenaventura, CA

Various Cities and Towns in the United States

UCLA Digital Holdings

Holdings at Other Libraries

Key Historical Fire Insurance Maps

Significant contributions to the fire insurance map industry are exemplified in the following maps.  They are listed in chronological order of creation and publication.