Lake County Ohio GenWeb
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
These maps were created for insurance agents to determine premiums for fire insurance. They show building materials, floor plans, water availability, local hazards and much more. For genealogy, they show an outline of houses, types of businesses in the neighborhood, some topography, etc. The original maps were in color. The microfilm loses this feature. Some of these local maps are available at Cleveland Public Library and Western Reserve Historical Society. (WRHS maps show the new and old addresses, as it was an update with new buildings pasted on to the originals.)
Sites that have helpful information for these maps
Sanborn Map Legend Non-Residential Buildings for black and white maps:
Sanborn Maps Key: http://sanborn.umi.com/HelpFiles/key.html
Sanborn Map Legend: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/sanborn.html
UMI ProQuest Sanborn Digital Map Collection information
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Instructions
The OPLIN System Directions
- Go to http://www.oplin.lib.oh.us/
- Click on "Research Databases."
- Scroll down to "Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps" and click.
- If you have a public library card, click there.
- Select your library from the drop down box. Click on it.
- Fill in your library card number - no letters, no spaces.
- Scroll down to "Sanborn Maps" (again) and click.
- Enter search criteria in the search box, following instructions on page. Use "&" between each word. (Suggest City & Street & Street. Hyphenated words do not work. Use as separate words. [Ex. Cleveland & Woodland & Fifty & First for E. 51 at Woodland)
- If there are too many choices, study the format and add some criteria.
- Determine best choice using special buildings and address ranges. Then select the year.
- Click on "View Map".
- Larger # of pixels gives a larger picture.
- Set the zoom. (12% until you get the correct center)
- Click on the area of the map you want to be in the center.
- Repeat 13 and 14 until your have the subject in the center in a size you can read and have the appropriate background.
ProQuest/ UMI System Directions
- Go to http://www.morleylibrary.org
- Click on "Reference."
- Click on "From Home"
- Enter Morley Library card number.
- Select "Sanborn Fire Insurance-Proquest" from drop down box at the top.
- Select a state - (Only Ohio from here).
- Select a city.
- elect a date. Maps variously cover 1886 through 1975.
- Click on a map from the thumbnails, or select a sheet number if known.
11. Enlarge a screen if correct map.
- Select window size for viewing.
- Click on "recenter" then click where you want the center to be.
- Click on "zoom in" button then click on map to zoom in.