What are the Sanborn maps, and where can I locate them?
The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, which began publication in 1867, were used in determining fire insurance liability. They are now of historic interest for the dating of buildings and houses. The South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina has about 400 of the early Sanborn maps for South Carolina cities, including Columbia, and they can be viewed online as part of the University Libaries Digital Collections. Some of the South Carolina maps are also available on microfilm in the Local History room at the Main Library.