Wednesday, April 25, 2007

There Went the Neighborhood

Wondering what your neighborhood or street looked like back in the early 1900s? Genealogists, architects, local historians and urban planners alike will find the library's Sanborn Digital Maps of Virginia an invaluable resource. The Sanborn Map Company was the primary publisher of fire insurance maps for American cities for nearly 100 years. These maps were used to estimate the potential fire risk for urban structures and include information such as the size and shape of each building, the type of construction materials used, the function of various structures and even the location of windows and doors. Local Virginia cities include Warrenton, Culpeper, Leesburg, Manassas and Woodstock. Once only available in microfilm, the electronic versions of these maps allow you to magnify and zoom in on particular sections and even layer maps from different years. You can view the Sanborn Digital Maps of Virginia collection online at the library or from the comfort of home. If you are at home, visit the library's Web site (http://library.fauquiercounty.gov) and click on Databases, which is under the heading Electronic Resources. The link to the Sanborn login screen is under Genealogy & History. All you need is your Fauquier County Public Library 10 digit library card number to access the collection.

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