Buddy Collins, a graduating senior in the Department of Geography and this year’s Friends of the Libraries Fellow, has spent the last few months improving access and discovery to the Earth Sciences & Map Library’s Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Collection. His work creating web map indexes for this important collection will enable easy access to users to conduct environmental site assessments, architectural projects, urban history, genealogy work and more.
Surveyor Daniel Alfred Sanborn created the original maps to depict the size, shape and construction of buildings, as well as street names, property boundaries and building use. The CU Boulder Map Library has the most complete collection of Sanborn maps of Colorado outside of the Library of Congress. The Map Library’s collection includes print maps from the years 1883 to 1937, of approximately 560 Colorado cities, and a digital collection of maps from 1883 through 1922 that detail 79 principal cities in 52 Colorado counties.
“As I have worked with these maps, I have really liked seeing how Colorado cities have changed from the 19th to the 20th century,” Friends of the Libraries fellow Collins said. “I find it interesting to see how some of these towns grew so rapidly.”
“Buddy has been a great Fellow to work with,” White said. “He has contributed a meaningful project to the Earth Sciences & Map Library and developed his skills in GIS, data management and project management. His work indexing the Sanborn Collection improves access and discovery of this important collection. I’ve been so impressed with Buddy’s commitment to this project. He took ownership of the work and solved problems independently. I’ll certainly miss working with him.”
Collins is a geographic information student with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where he creates online maps. After graduation, Collins hopes to go on to work that will allow him to explore his passion for cartography.
The Friends of the Libraries Undergraduate Student Fellowship introduces undergraduates to careers in academic librarianship, allowing students to work closely with a Libraries mentor. The fellowship receives generous support from the Friends of the Libraries Fund.