Digitization was supported by an Ohio History Fund grant. Maps are from the collection at Kent State University Libraries map collection (McGilvery Hall, Room 410).
The Sanborn Maps are large scale street plans produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company from 1867 to 1970. Sanborn Maps show the outline of each building including the location of windows and doors together with street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. The maps display building materials, number of floors, and building purpose (if available). Businesses, churches, and government structures are often identified as well as the business type (cotton mill, automobile repair, etc.). An individual homeowner/occupier is not identified.
These maps are used by a wide range of researchers including local historians to locate and identify buildings and neighborhoods, urban historians to study the growth of towns and cities, and environmentalists concerned about impact of new developments.
The Library of Congress held three paper copies of the Sanborn maps for each state. In the early 1950’s, the Library of Congress distributed one set for each state to a state land grant university, and Kent State was chosen to house this important collection.
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