External id: 333

Manager Email: waarala2@illinois.edu

Owner Email: jmj@illinois.edu

Start Date: 2016-05-26

Status: completed


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

The University Library’s collection of Sanborn fire insurance maps includes maps for Illinois towns; rural settings are not included. Sanborn maps were produced to assist insurance underwriters in determining fire insurance rates for individual buildings by examining the buildings' construction methods, heat and lighting sources and manufacturing uses, and the same attributes of nearby buildings. The maps primarily provide information on the downtown areas of cities and adjoining residential areas. They are a record of urban development from the 1880s through the first half of the twentieth century. Family historians may find them interesting in documenting family homes and businesses. The maps in the collection are duplicates of the maps held at the Library of Congress. 

Maps in this image collection pre-date 1923, and this image collection is not yet complete. For information about later coverage, please go to the Map Library’s Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (http://www.library.illinois.edu/max/collections/sanborns_about.html) web page. 

Contact the Map Library with questions regarding coverage and access via e-mail (http://www.library.illinois.edu/mailform/mail.php?emailcode=mapandgeog) or by calling 217-333-0827.

Access URL:https://digital.library.illinois.edu/collections/sanborn



Catologing status

  • All content is catologed by Map and Geography prior to digitizaiton.  Map and Geograpy input content into Medusa DB with correct bibliographic information relavent for digitization.

File naming

  • All files shall follow the same file naming conventions
    • File naming convention -  bibid_001, _002, 003 (this includes the first sheet and sequencial for every sheet after the first.

Deliverables (file formats)

  • Preservation masters tif for Medusa
  • Access tif

Digitization Equipment

  • RCAM 

Preservation Master

  • Adobe RGB
  • Resolution – 600ppi
  • Bit Depth - 16 bit
  • Pixel Array - fixed
  • disable sharpening for preservation
  • include target
  • Level/Rotate/Straighten
  • No Cropping - unless original is messy.
  • Title: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - Map and Geography Library


  • sRGB
  • Resolution - 400 DPI
  • Bit Depth - 8 bit
  • Pixel Array - 4000 pixels on long edge
  • Sharpen
  • Cropping - included page edge leaving 1/8" border around page and crop out target
  • Title: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - Map and Geography Library

Update the Mdusa DB every work session with files digitized and processed. Select items at item level and name assign it to a batch (date_project_initials) to correspond with JIRA task  It must be kept up to date on a daily session.


Directory Structure:

  • Save preservation master files/access files within folder named with bibid.

Destination of files:

Working files 

  • \\storage.library.illinois.edu\DCC Unprocessed Files\SanbornFireInsuranceMaps\QAqueue
  • save them by batch name (date_project_initial) to corresponde with db and JIRA

Preservation Master and Access files files per batch (ex. date_projectname_repositoryname

  • \\storage.library.illinois.edu\dcc\MedusaStaging by batch name