Some Online Research Sources

by Michael R. Allen

The Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection features cool color photos of St. Louis from 1949 & 1966, including shots of the Merchant’s Exchange, Garrick Theater, Woodbine Hotel and Plaza Square Apartments showing the original panel colors. Find these images by searching for Saint Louis. (Via Urban St. Louis.)

The University of Missouri has digitized their Sanborn fire insurance map collection for the entire state. For those unfamiliar with Sanborn maps, the maps were made to assess fire risk and include detailed maps of cities that include parcel lines, building footprints, locations of stairs and elevators within buildings, building materials used in construction and other facts. These maps are essential reference to architectural historians surveying large districts. Insurance and real estate companies typically owned sets and added paste-in updates mailed out by Sanborn. The St. Louis volumes in the university’s collection were not updated past 1908, a fairly early date. Look at the collection here. (Via Lindsey Derrington.)

Lastly, the 1876 volume by J. A. Dacus and James Buel entitled A Tour of St. Louis has been published by Google in its entirety. (Via Andrew Weil.)