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CARLI logo Sanborn Maps of Illinois, 1867-1970 (CARLI)

About this collection


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Sanborn Maps of Illinois, 1867-1970

Sanborn maps Sanborn maps were originally created to help fire insurance companies determine the risks associated with insuring properties. These large-scale maps were drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch. Because the maps were created over a century, they are useful in charting the development of cities and towns over many years.

Although this collection contains maps only from Illinois for the time period of 1867 - 1970, the Sanborn company created fire insurance maps for over 12,000 cities and towns across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. More information about the history of Sanborn fire insurance maps can be found at the Library of Congress website "Introduction to the Sanborn Map Collection."

This collection is available to CARLI Governing member libraries at no direct cost to the library.

To view the Illinois maps, you may choose to browse or search the collection. You may also use the options below to select maps by a city or county, or by date and volume (date and volume option available for the city of Chicago only).


Select by city:

        Select by county:

        City of Chicago maps by date and volume:


Using this collection

Map Sets with Duplicate Dates
The maps in this collection were microfilmed from a collection held at the Library of Congress. This collection includes all maps submitted to the Library from the Sanborn Company as well as maps transferred to the Library from the Bureau of the Census. The Bureau of Census maps often contain corrections pasted onto the maps. An asterisk (*) at the end of the title indicates if a set of maps is from the Bureau of the Census.

New and Additional Sheets
Some sets of maps may contain the term "New and Additional Sheet" in their title. These maps are updated sheets that were created to replace sheets from previous map sets. The image of the sheet will refer to what sheet it replaces.

Bound volumes of maps (approximately 100 sheets), were created for large cities. If you choose a city where the maps were separated into bound volumes, the volume is incidated in the title of the map set.

Key and Index Sheets
Map sets containing a number of sheets will also include a key and/or index. If present, the key and index sheets can normally be found at the beginning of a map set.

Key maps are "bird's eye" overviews of a city. Use the key to find the portion of the city you wish to view, and then look for the sheet/volume numbers printed on the key. The sheet/volume number will correspond to a specific sheet in the map set for that area of the city. Index sheets provide a listing of streets and important buildings (labeled "specials"). The index will provide the specific sheet number for the street or building.

Downloading copies of the maps
A high-resolution TIFF version of each map is available. The TIFF can be downloaded directly from the metadata for any image via the link in the Full Resolution metadata field. Download methods vary across browsers, but clicking or right-clicking on the link should prompt a download or "save as" option.


Additional links 




Digital Sanborn Maps for Illinois are reproduced and distributed under exclusive license from ProQuest LLC and Environmental Data Resources, Inc. No portion of the map images may be downloaded, printed or otherwise retained for commercial purposes, including but not limited to environmental or other land use evaluations, without the prior consent of Environmental Data Resources, Inc.

For information on how to obtain maps for commercial purposes, go to:
Environmental Data Resources, Inc.
440 Wheelers Farms Road
Milford, CT 06461

All copyright in the Sanborn Maps are held by Environmental Data Resources, Inc. or its affiliates.

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