Sanborn Maps in Iowa

Sanborn Maps are highly detailed maps of towns that were created by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. between 1883 and 1951. The idea was to determine the amount of risk there would be in insuring any particular building based on it’s surroundings. (What businesses surrounded it? Were buildings flush against each other or were they set back? etc?) Although the majority of the maps have passed out of copyright, what is easily available is another question. This differs from state to state. Some states or other groups have committed resources to scanning the maps for their area and uploading and maintaining them. ProQuest (a for profit digital content provider) has also scanned the maps and makes them available through a subscription. In Iowa access to the maps is provided through ProQuest. You just have to sign up for a card for the State Library of Iowa. Once you have your card number you can log on for free.

Find the link for the Sanborn Maps and other database sign ins here:

If you live in the state of Iowa, you can get a State Library Card here:

In Missouri, they provide the maps from before 1924 for free through the University of Missouri libraries, without a card number:
Look for Mansfield in 1913.


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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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