Sanborn fire insurance maps for select Georgia towns and cities dating from 1923-1941 now available for free online

The Digital Library of Georgia has just made Sanborn fire insurance maps produced between 1923-1941 for 39 Georgia towns and cities in 35 counties freely available online. The maps, which are now in the public domain, can be retrieved at dlg.usg.edu/collection/dlg_sanb, and complement the DLG’s existing collection of the University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library’s 539 Sanborn maps dating from 1884-1922 that have been available since 2005. The DLG has also upgraded its image viewer, which will allow better access and improved navigation to the new and older Sanborn images from this collection.
 
Sanborn maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining fire hazards for properties by outlining the construction of buildings and their elements, as well as the location of water facilities, house and block numbers, and the names of streets. They have proven useful in researching urban growth and decline, urban planning design, and the historic use of buildings in a city.
 
Cari Goetcheus, associate professor in the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia notes: “Sanborn maps are a wonderful snapshot of place in time from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.
 
Originally created by insurance companies to understand building materials in cities so they could decide what and how to insure the built environment, these maps offer much more than that by providing insight into Georgia’s diverse cultural, political, social, economic, and geographic history.
 
For example, my students and I have most recently been using Athens Sanborn maps to document land-use change in an area known as Hot Corner, the historically black business district of Athens from the late 1800s to the 1970s.”
 
Valerie Glenn, librarian and Head of the University of Georgia’s Map and Government Information Library notes:
 
“Because the maps contain such rich details, they provide a clear picture of a town as it existed –culturally, socially, economically, geographically. Users can see how many banks, or theatres, or piano stores existed; the “colored” schools and churches; and the distance between the river and the cigar factory.
 
Over time this makes it easier for users to, for example, identify changes to historically African-American neighborhoods in a given town or see the development, expansion, and/or decline of a central business district.”
 
Link to featured images:
 
Arlington, Calhoun and Early Counties, Georgia, Apr. 1934/ Sanborn Map Company
 
 
Fire insurance maps which show building construction by hand coloring, locations of elevators and windows, and available water facilities. Shows commercial and religious occupancy of buildings, dwellings with property boundaries, and house and block numbers. Includes notes on population, water facilities, fire department, and prevailing winds. The maps represented are from the University of Georgia Libraries Map Collection.
 
 
 
Arlington, Calhoun and Early Counties, Georgia, Apr. 1934/ Sanborn Map Company, Page 1
Arlington, Calhoun and Early Counties, Georgia, Apr. 1934/ Sanborn Map Company, Page 2
Arlington, Calhoun and Early Counties, Georgia, Apr. 1934/ Sanborn Map Company, Page 3
 
 
About the University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library
 
The University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library (MAGIL)’s mission is to provide bibliographic, physical and intellectual access to cartographic and government information in all formats. The UGA Libraries serves as Georgia’s regional depository for documents published by the Federal government as well as the official depository for documents published by the State of Georgia. Its collections include select international and United Nations documents. Cartographic resources include maps, aerial photography and remote sensed imagery, atlases, digital spatial data, and reference materials, with a particular emphasis on the State of Georgia. Visit libs.uga.edu/magil
 
 
About the Digital Library of Georgia
 
Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu.
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DLG announces subgrants to support projects up to $7500: applications due April 14, 2020

To broaden partner participation in the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), DLG is soliciting proposals for historic digitization projects costing up to $7500 from non-profit Georgia cultural heritage institutions. Applicant organizations must be open to the public, and their collections must be available for public research either by appointment or through regular hours. Project metadata will be included in the DLG portal and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Projects may include the reformatting of textual materials (not including newspapers), graphic materials, or audio-visual materials. Applicants should have materials prepared for a project start date of July 1, 2020.

Selection of materials or collections to digitize will be made in accordance with the DLG’s Collection Development Policy and will depend on the availability of resources and funding. Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

■ Clarity of proposal–Project scope and responsibilities should be well-defined.

■     Diversity–Materials that represent the cultural, political, social, geographic, and/or economic diversity of the state of Georgia will be given priority.

■     Reusability–Materials should be free of legal restrictions or have permissions granted by the copyright holder. Preference is given to materials that are freely available or available for free reuse for either educational or non-commercial uses.

■     Historic value–Materials should have high research, artifactual, or evidential value and/or be of particular interest to multiple audiences.

■     Added value through digitization–Materials for which access will be substantially improved by digitization or which have a high potential for added value in the digital environment through linkages to existing digitized content will be given priority.

■     Capacity building–Preference will be given to organizations who have not yet collaborated with the DLG and/or those with limited digitization resources or experience.

A committee consisting of DLG, Georgia HomePLACE, Georgia Humanities Council, and Georgia Council for the Arts staff and representatives of GHRAC and the DLG partner community will determine awards. Awards committee members will recuse themselves from review of a proposal should a conflict of interest exist.

For textual and graphic materials, digitization and descriptive services will be performed by DLG staff. In the case of audio-visual collections, digitization will be outsourced to a vendor. Partners are responsible for transporting materials to and from the DLG or for costs associated with shipping to and from vendors.

Nominated materials must have clear rights statements and documentation. Any metadata created will be shared under a Creative Commons License Public Domain License (CC0), through the DLG’s portal and the DPLA.

To apply, submit a 2 MB or smaller zip file of the following to our proposal submission form (you will need a gmail account) by April 14, 2020:

■     Application form;

■     One letter of reference from a previous user of the materials describing their historic value and potential for reuse by multiple audiences;

■     Five samples of selected content;

■     A budget that includes conversion costs, metadata services, and hosting  fees based on the DLG Digital Services Cost Recovery for Proposal Development and using the application budget form; and

■     If requesting DLG hosting, proof of rights status for materials (e.g., letter of permissions from copyright holder, donor’s agreement, orphan works status assessment, release form, etc.).

Important dates

  • February 13, 2020, 2 pm, Webinar
  • February 19, 2020, 1 pm-4 pm , Phone office hours with DLG staff
  • February 20, 2020, 10 am-noon, Phone office hours with DLG staff
  • April 14, 2020, Proposals due
  • May 6, 2020, Committee reviews proposals
  • May 15, 2020, Recipients notified
  • June 15, 2020, Service agreements signed (Sample MOU available here) and      project schedules agreed
  • July 1, 2020, Program start date

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia https://dlg.usg.edu is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources.  DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.

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