North Carolina Maps: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

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North Carolina Sanborn® Maps

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From 1867 to 1977, the Sanborn® Map Company of Pelham, New York, produced large-scale (usually 50 feet to the inch) color maps of commercial and industrial districts of some 12,000 towns and cities in North America to assist fire insurance companies in setting rates and terms. Each set of maps represented each built structure in those districts, its use, dimensions, height, building material, and other relevant features (fire alarms, water mains and hydrants, for example). The intervals between new map editions for a given town or city in the early decades of the twentieth century varied according to the pace and scale of urban growth — from a few years to more than five years. In all, Sanborn® produced 50,000 editions comprising some 700,000 individual map pages.

North Carolina Collection Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps
The North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill holds the most comprehensive collection of Sanborn® maps in North Carolina. The holdings range in date from the 1880s to the 1950s and cover more than 150 cities and towns across the state. North Carolina Maps features online all of the North Carolina Collection's Sanborn® maps produced through 1922. Maps published after that date will remain available for use on microfilm in the North Carolina Collection reading room.


Browse Sanborn® Maps by County


Map of North Carolina Cherokee County Transylvania County Transylvania County Haywood County Henderson County Henderson County Buncombe County Madison County McDowell County Polk County Rutherford County Cleveland County Burke County Caldwell County Catawba County Lincoln County Gaston County Mecklenburg County Union County Cabarrus County Iredell County Wilkes County Surry County Rowan County Stanly County Anson County Richmond County Montgomery County Davidson County Forsyth County Rockingham County Guilford County Randolph County Moore County Scotland County Scotland County Robeson County Alamance County Caswell County Lee County Orange County Person County Durham County Harnett County Cumberland County Sampson County Wake County Granville County Johnston County Franklin County Vance County Warren County Wayne County Duplin County New Hanover County New Hanover County Lenoir County Wilson County Nash County Halifax County Edgecombe County Northampton County Martin County Pitt County Craven County Carteret County Carteret County Beaufort County Washington County Chowan County Chowan County Perquimans CountyPerquimans County Pasquotank County Pasquotank County
Alamance Durham Martin Rockingham
Anson Edgecombe McDowell Rowan
Beaufort Forsyth Mecklenburg Rutherford
Buncombe Franklin Montgomery Sampson
Burke Gaston Moore Scotland
Cabarrus Granville Nash Stanly
Caldwell Guilford New Hanover Surry
Carteret Halifax Northampton Transylvania
Caswell Harnett Orange Union
Catawba Haywood Pasquotank Vance
Cherokee Henderson Perquimans Wake
Chowan Iredell Person Warren
Cleveland Johnston Pitt Washington
Craven Lee Polk Wayne
Cumberland Lenoir Randolph Wilkes
Davidson Lincoln Richmond Wilson
Duplin Madison Robeson


Obtaining Copies
Digital images and color prints of the Sanborn® fire insurance maps displayed on this site are available through the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill. For more information, contact the collection at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu or (919) 962-1172.

Many Sanborn® maps -- including those published later than 1922 and maps from other states -- are available from Environmental Data Resources, Inc. See more information at http://www.edrnet.com/sanborn.htm.

Related Sites
Going to the Show, a project documenting the experience of moviegoing in North Carolina in the early twentieth century, contains images of over 750 Sanborn® map sheets from North Carolina. These map images have been stitched together and georeferenced, enabling users to compare them with maps from other years, and with recent street maps and satellite images.

Sanborn Maps North Carolina, a product of ProQuest, is the most complete set of North Carolina Sanborn® maps available online. This subscription site is available in libraries throughout North Carolina through NC LIVE. Ask at your local library for more information about accessing this site.