Avery's New York City Atlases
Avery Library is delighted to announce the installation of oversize shelving for one of our most important and heavily used resources. New atlas shelving has been installed in Room 222, commonly known as the Graduate Reading Room, located in the southwest corner of the 200 level. The atlases are now found on the east side of Room 222, conveniently located next to a large reading table.
Click on any image to enlarge.
Dating from the 19th and 20th centuries these historic maps serve as a critical source of information for students of historic preservation, urban history, urban planning, and architecture. Many of these atlases were intended for fire insurance purposes. Therefore they document structural details, building materials, building footprints, building type and other information crucial to the study of New York City’s built environment over the past two centuries.
Avery Library continues to receive, to this day, the important, annually updated New York City atlases universally known as the “Sanborn Maps.”
The current land book for Manhattan is kept on Reserves (Avery AA9127 N4 Sa535 FF), and the current land books for Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are available on microfiche only and are located in the cabinets behind the Service Desk (Avery Fx3 4118).
For a complete list of Avery’s collection please see:
New York City Atlases & Land Books held in Avery Library
For further information on the history and use of these kinds of atlases see:
Keller, William B.“Collecting and Using Fire Insurance and Real Estate Atlases: An Individual Perspective.” Art Reference Services Quarterly, vol.1, no.3, 1993, p.31-48.
Keister, Kim. “Charts of Change [Sanborn Map Co.].”
Historic Preservation, 1993 May-June, v.45, n.3, p.42-49,91-92.
Avery AB H623
Oswald, Diane L. Fire insurance maps: their history and applications. College Station, Tex.: Lacewing Press, 1997.
Avery AA2000 Os9