Staying Informed

AccessFayetteville provides numerous ways to stay informed about your local government.


Sanborn Interactive Map Service

City of Fayetteville GIS Office and the University of Arkansas Libraries 

The Interactive map page available at: Sanborn Map


Historical Sanborn Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps show building construction details for selected areas of early neighborhoods.

This Sanborn interactive map service presents a “mosaic” of separate sheets of historic Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for specific years.  Sanborn maps offer detailed city plans, showing the footprint of buildings, specifying the construction materials, and identifying their use.  The maps for Fayetteville were produced from 1886 to 1930, with some details added in later years.  The maps were originally created for the purpose of assessing risk of fire and costs for insurance.  Coverage was provided for more than 12,000 towns and cities in the United States.



The original Sanborn maps were hand-drawn and hand-colored, all using a standard scheme of symbols, as specified in the key above.  Color indicated building construction material, including woodframe (yellow), brick (red, faded to pink), and stone (blue).  Details of the buildings, such as mixed construction or doors and windows are noted.  The functions of many buildings are labeled, and some prominent buildings are identified by name. Streets are also labeled by name, and under some streets, water and gas mains are shown.  For a useful guide in reading Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, see: .

Address numbers on the historic maps may not correspond to current addresses.
Some current landmarks may not appear in the same location on the historic maps.

The original maps used in the interactive Sanborn map service are owned by the University of Arkansas (UA) Libraries, Special Collections Department.  In total, Special Collections houses eight Sanborn maps of Fayetteville, for 1886, 1892, 1897, 1904, 1908, 1913, 1919, and 1930. Because of their size, fragility, and value, use of these originals is restricted. Access to Sanborn maps for Fayetteville is provided by this interactive map service.  The UA Libraries also provides access to Sanborn maps for other Arkansas towns through subscription to an online source as well as through two sets of microfilm in the Libraries’ Periodicals Room.

The UA Libraries and the City of Fayetteville GIS Office collaboratively developed this unique interactive Sanborn map service.  The UA Libraries scanned the original Sanborn maps on a large format scanner, at 200 dpi and 8-bit color.  Then the Fayetteville GIS office created a geospatial layer, by georectifying, tiling, and adjusting a transparent background for the scanned maps.  This new geospatial layer was formed in the ESRI ArcIMS software, as one of the Fayetteville Interactive Maps.

Though copyright on the original Sanborn maps presented here has passed into the public domain, copyright of these digital Sanborn images is owned by the University of Arkansas Libraries. Any use beyond “fair use” under the U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U. S. Code ) requires permission.


Citation Guide

Format Example:

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Fayetteville, Arkansas,1897.  Interactive digital map. Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.
URL:  (accessed May 1, 2009). 

To request permission to publish or for other use exceeding fair use, contact Special Collections,, (479) 575-8444, 465 North McIlroy Avenue, Fayetteville, AR  72701-4002. Request forms are online at