Missouri Valley Special Collections
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Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Kansas City, Missouri, 1895-1957
Sanborn Maps
The Kansas City Sanborn Fire Insurance maps in the Missouri Valley Special Collections Digital Gallery consist of over 1200 individual pages or images. The large-scale maps provide an invaluable resource for historians, genealogists, geographers, students, environmentalists, and others researching buildings, neighborhoods, and the individuals that lived and worked in them.

Details on the maps include building footprints and numbers (addresses), street names and elevations, construction material, number of stories, and items like hydrants, fire alarms, and water mains. The locations of underground gasoline or oil tanks and water pipes are also indicated. The maps show rivers, railroad tracks, bridges, and types of buildings, like greenhouses, theaters, stables, etc. They identify businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and other buildings by name.

By combining the maps with other resources in the Missouri Valley Room, like city directories, the Digital Gallery of images, and the newspaper clipping index, one can:

  • Research the history of a building and surrounding area
  • Learn little known facts regarding a residence, school, church, park, business, and more
  • Trace neighborhood change and development
  • Provide clues for renovating a building
  • Make your ancestors come alive by tracing the route they would walk to school, a business, or church
  • And much more!

The Missouri Valley Special Collections has 19 bound volumes of Kansas City Sanborn maps, which have been digitized, and some Kansas City volumes and selected Missouri cities on microfilm.

Note: Volume 9 (both 1930-1941 & 1930-1957) may only be accessed at the Kansas City Public Library. All others are available anywhere in the world at www.kchistory.org.

Institute of Museum and Library Services
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. Additional funding provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation.

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