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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island Maps: Sources

A guide to locating and using Rhode Island map resources

Rhode Island Fire & Flood Insurance Maps

Digital Sanborn Maps  what's a fire insurance map?

Rhode Island Digital Sanborn Maps (1867-1970) at Brown Library

Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970 provide digital access to large-scale maps of Rhode Island. These maps are valuable historical tools to learn about the history, growth, and development of American cities, towns, and neighborhoods. A key is provided by the Sanborn Map Company.
Access on-site at Brown Libraries
Print versions of RI Sanborn Maps (1921-1940, 1955) are available at Providence City Archives.

Sanborn Uses

  • Verify and assign addresses
  • Evaluate building permit applications
  • Review preliminary site plans
  • Identify areas for revitalization and redevelopment
  • Enforce zoning regulations
  • Prepare for emergencies


Map Features
- typical Sanborn maps include the following information:

  • Building addresses
  • Building height
  • Building footprints
  • Street names
  • Number of stories per building
  • Building construction materials
  • Building use
  • Right of way


Providence RI Flood Insurance Maps
Flood insurance rate map : city of Providence, Rhode Island, Providence County

Plat & USGS Maps

Plat Maps   what's a plat map?

turks head building from 1926 plat map

Plat Maps at RISD Library

Atlas of the City of Providence, Rhode Island (1908)

Plat book of the City of Providence, Rhode Island (1926)


Additional Sources for local maps & historic information

Providence City Archives
Providence City Hall
5th floor, room 502
25 Dorrance Street
M-F 8:30am-4:30pm

The Archives have a range of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, City of Providence Atlases and City Directories.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1921-1940 and 1955
City of Providence Atlases from the following years: 1875, 1882, 1895, 1908, 1918, 1926 & 1936
City Directories from 1824 to present

 

City of Providence Department of Planning & Development

Rhode Island Historical Society Library (admission fees apply)

Rhode Island State Archives

Rhode Island State Library

USGS Maps

Historic USGS maps of New England & NY
USGS online