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The Special Collections and South Carolina Historical Society reading room in Addlestone Library will be closed Friday, June 21, 2024 for deep cleaning. We look forward to welcoming researchers when we re-open on Monday, June 24, 2024.

Historic Preservation Research : Find Sources

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Spotlight: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sanborn Insurance was an American publisher of historical and current maps of US cities and towns. Originally conceived in the late 18th Century, fire insurance maps provided structural and urban environmental information necessary for insurance underwriters. The maps are now frequently used for historical research and for preservation or restoration efforts. Special Collections and the SC Historical Society hold Sanborn Fire Insurance maps in physical form with overlays of updates of maps and indexes pasted in contemporaneously.

Over 2,000 maps of over eighty cities in South Carolina from 1884-1923 are available online through the University of South Carolina’s digital collections at

The Library of Congress has a complete list of all Sanborn fire Insurance maps published for Charleston and for South Carolina.