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Historical Maps

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These valuable resources are located in the Florida Collection on the fourth floor of the Main Library. They  consist of a varied assortment of original maps, reproductions and photocopies ranging from the late 16th Century to the present day.  While none of the Florida Collection maps can be checked out, all are available for review and study in the Collection whenever the Library is open!  This map collection consists of two main groups, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and Florida and Southeastern U.S. History Maps, which are described in more detail below:

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.

Sanborn Headquarters
Fig. A. Sanborn Maps
Headquarters

These were originally developed as a tool for insurance companies and fire departments to estimate the potential risk for urban structures and neighborhoods.  Now, however, Sanborn Maps are also considered valuable historical tools for chronicling development and growth of those towns and cities. The maps feature a street-by-street layout of various neighborhoods and provide valuable information about buildings (homes, stores, churches and factories, etc.) and structures (sheds, garages and even outhouses!). Sanborn Maps offer a unique record of a locale's history.  At the Florida Collection, Sanborn Maps are available for many Florida towns and cities. They are in map form, on microfilm and online. Coverage for Jacksonville is the most complete, with maps covering portions of the city from 1884 to 1973.

Access our Sanborn Maps!

Online Digital Sanborn Maps   (*Remote Access)   (In-Library Use)

*Instructions for Accessing Sanborn Maps Through Remote Access

Current Sanborn Holdings at JPL.

The Library's collection in print format is bound in large, oversized books which can be cumbersome to use. Patrons are encouraged to use the Online or Microfilm formats as a way to gain easier access to map information. Library staff is always available for assistance with all three formats.

Florida and Southeastern U.S. History Maps.

St. Augustine

The Florida Collection also has over 1,200 maps covering Florida and the Southeast from 1591 to the present.  Subjects vary, but highlights of this group include the following:

  • Early maps of Spanish Florida, St. Augustine, Pensacola and the Southeastern Colonies, and early world maps.
  • Maps of Second Seminole Indian War locations.
  • Survey maps of harbors, rivers, cities and other geographic features and areas in Florida during the last 400 years.
  • Civil War maps of Pensacola, Tampa and Jacksonville.
  • Detailed transportation maps for railroads, barges, canals, steamships and airlines.
  • Maps of flood zones and census districts.
  • Environmental maps of fresh water supplies, vegetation types, parks and fishing and recreational areas within Florida.

None of the Florida Collection maps can be checked out, but all are available for review and study in the Collection whenever the Library is open!