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Buffalo and Western New York in Maps: UB Collection

This guide summarizes UB Libraries' local map holdings, and provides an extensive list of digitized maps for the region, as well as additional sources. Please note this consolidates two local map guides previously hosted on the UB Libraries' website.
Last Updated: Dec 1, 2021 2:42 PM

UB Libraries Map Collection

The UB Map Collection has maps, charts, aerial and satellite photos, and online maps of Western New York, including Erie, Niagara, and other local counties. These maps are in a variety of scales and describe many different aspects of the city and the region.

Most of these maps are located either under a Library of Congress call number, or under the U.S. Government, Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) numbering system. All of these maps may be located using the Libraries' Catalog, and then retrieving the desired map from the map drawer.

Search Tip: When searching the Libraries' Catalog you may find listings using the following search tip: Enter a subject search, beginning with erie county n y--maps. The following is an example:

s = erie county n y--maps

This will locate almost all Erie County maps. To locate topographic maps of Buffalo, enter the following:

s = buffalo n y--maps topographic

Among this collection are what are referred to as historical topographic maps. These are older topographic maps (1895-1950) of New York State that are kept in the Map Collection Reference Room. Searching the Libraries' Catalog is the same as for regular topographic maps.

You may also perform an advanced search using the "Maps" format to limit your search to only maps and atlases.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Lockwood Library Reference Desk, by calling 716-645-2820 or via email

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

The UB Libraries Map Collection has the 1991 edition of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the city of Buffalo on microfilm. This collection provides valuable, detailed property data, showing individual lots, buildings, and dimensions. The reels can be viewed in the UB Libraries Annex

UB also has a subscription to Fire Insurance Maps online (FIMo), covering the entire United States. We also have access to Digital Sanborn Maps for New York State for the following periods: 1889-1893, 1899-1900, 1916-1940 and 1925-1951. These resources can be accessed with your UBIT name and password. Please see the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps research guide for more information on accessing these resources.

Aerial Photographs

UB Aerial Photograph Collection. The UB Map Collection has aerial photographs and satellite imagery coverage of Erie and Niagara counties for the years 1927, 1966, and 1978. In addition, the Map Collection contains a small collection of miscellaneous satellite imagery of United States cities. For further assistance, please contact the Map Librarian or Lockwood Library Reference Desk.

UB Topographic Maps

The UB Libraries Map Collection has print topographic maps for the entire United States, arranged alphabetically in the map drawers. Digital topographic maps are available for our region and the entire United States, as well. 

Soil Surveys

UB Libraries has print copies of soil surveys for Erie County.

  • Soil survey of Erie County, New York / United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service ; in cooperation with the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. [Washington, D.C.?] : The Service, 1986. These soil surveys are available in print in the following UB locations:
    • Lockwood Library General Collection / S591 .A22 N.Y. Erie
    • Lockwood Library Science & Engineering Reference Collection / S591 .A22 N.Y. Erie
    • Libraries Annex: US A 57.38: Er 4
    • Abbott Library Architecture & Planning / General Book Collection: S599.N7 S55 1986
    • Abbott Library Architecture & Planning / Course Reserve: S599.N7 S55 1986.


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Kimberly Plassche
108A Lockwood Library, North Campus

Buffalo, 1849

Black and white map of City of Buffalo

Buffalo & the Buffalo River, 1914

Map of Buffalo streets and river

Olmsted's Buffalo Parks, 1914

map with green shading at Buffalo park locations

1901 Topo Map showing the UB South Campus Site

blue map with red text pointing to site of UB