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Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of North Carolina: Home

About This Guide

Since the late nineteenth century, the Sanborn Map Company (later Sanborn-Perris Map Company) has produced highly detailed maps of cities and towns throughout the United States for use by insurance companies in determining the risk of fire. Maps for many North Carolina cities and towns are available for the period 1884-1980s, depending on the size of the city or town.

These detailed, accurate maps can be used to determine much important information about a city or town at a particular time and to understand how the community developed. Their research value spans across many disciplines including geography, history, planning, and preservation.

This research guide directs users to digital and material resources available for accessing Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.  The guide also instructs users on how to read and understand the variety of symbols found on the maps.

Learning Outcomes

Users of this research guide will be able to:

  • Locate and request to see the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the city of Greenville, N.C.
  • Locate and access the North Carolina Sanborn Maps online through ProQuest.
  • Identify resources to assist with reading the Sanborn Maps.
  • Locate other Sanborn Map resources for further research.
  • Know who to contact for help with library research.


A multicolor Sanborn Map Company map of Greenville, N.C. showing Dickinson Avenue, Evans Street, Greene Street, and 7th Street.  Originally dated 1929. 

For more images like this, visit the Joyner Library Digital Collections database.