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Digital Sanborn Maps: Pennsylvania

The Penn Library's new subscription to the Digital Sanborn maps: Pennsylvania provides online access to black-and-white reproductions of fire insurance maps produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company for 586 Pennsylvania communities from the late 19th century through the early 1950s. These maps show streets, building outlines, and other improvements and infrastructure for urban communities.

The online collection, arranged in atlas volumes searchable by county, community, and date, covers all major Pennsylvania cities - Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Scranton, Reading, Bristol, Lancaster, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, and Altoona - as well as many smaller places - Scalp Level, Shickshinny, Jersey Shore, Black Lick, and Throop.

For the Philadelphia region, these communities appear in Digital Sanborn maps: Pennsylvania for one or more dates:

  • Philadelphia County: Philadelphia.
  • Bucks County: Andalusia, Morrisville, Bristol, Doylestown, Langhorne, New Hope, Newtown, Perkasie, Quakertown, Sellersville, Yardley.
  • Chester County: Avondale, Berwyn, Coatesville, Downingtown, Kennett Square, Malvern, Marcus Hook, Oxford, Paoli, Parkesburg, Phoenixville, West Chester, West Grove.
  • Delaware County: Chester (including Viscose City), Clifton Heights, Delaware County (including Upper Darby Township), Lansdowne, Media, Swarthmore, Wayne.
  • Montgomery County: Ambler, Jeffersonville, Pennsburg, Bridgeport, Bryn Athyn, Collegeville, Conshohocken, East Greenville, Glenside, Hatboro, Hatfield, Jenkintown, Lansdale, Linfield, Montgomery County (Abington, Cheltenham, and Lower Merion Townships), Norristown, North Wales, Pottstown, Royersford, Souderton, Willow Grove, Wyndmoor.

The Digital Sanborn maps: Pennsylvania reproduces images from a microform set. The Philadelphia segment of this microform set, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, (Van Pelt Microtext Center), and Penn Library print holdings, are described in a Penn Library research guide. The complete 1,142-reel microform set covering the entire United States is available through Interlibrary Loan from the Center for Research Libraries.

We welcome questions and comments on the Digital Sanborn maps: Pennsylvania and other print and microform fire insurance and real property atlases.

For more information:
Laurie Allen, Van Pelt Research and Instructional Services
Lauris Olson, Social Sciences Bibliographer