Herbert said the maps are “aesthetically pleasing” because of their color-coding. Kenning Arlitsch, former head of the digital technologies at the time of the university’s first release of digital maps in 2002, said that to his knowledge, it was the first digital Sanborn collection in full color, staying true to the colorful paper maps.
Other digital copies of the maps were made available beginning in the late '90s. But The Library of Congress hasn’t digitized any Utah maps, and ProQuest Information and Learning’s collection is black and white and requires a subscription.
The university's collection offers an easy and free way to access the maps. And while smaller digital collections are available in Utah through organizations like the Utah Historical Society, Jones said, “We have the premiere collection.”
Whether it’s to aid in locating ancestors or to simply bring history to life, the Sanborn maps are a good source, he explained.
“They are significant, beautiful and accessible,” Jones said.
“You really ought to check them out. There’s a gold mine of information for a family historian,” Sayre said.
The collection can be found through the library's website www.lib.utah.edu.
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