Sanborn Maps reveal decades of change

BAR HARBOR — Desirée Butterfield-Nagy from the University of Maine’s Fogler Library will talk about Bar Harbor’s Sanborn Maps at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m.

The maps track the changes in Bar Harbor from 1884 to 1927, showing how Bar Harbor has changed over the years, including the appearance and disappearance of roller skating rinks, ice houses, Chinese laundries, millinery shops, railroad depots, livery stables, bowling alleys, ballrooms and more.

The Sanborn Maps, produced by the Sanborn Map Company, were originally created to assess insurance costs. Today, the maps provide some of the most historically comprehensive coverage of cities and towns in the United States, including detailed plans of streets and buildings dating from the late 1800s for more than 12,000 towns, including several on Mount Desert Island. Butterfield-Nagy also will talk about history of the Sanborn Map Company and how these maps came to be.

Butterfield-Nagy has served as an archivist at the University of Maine’s Fogler Library since 2009. In addition to assisting researchers and teaching a course in information literacy, she participates in several projects to make special collections materials available online, including the department’s historic photographs and the Sanborn Maps of Maine.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or

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