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Historical map archives

As Great Britain’s mapping agency, we host an extensive map archive.

As part of our government remit, we use our extensive Ordnance Survey (OS) archive of GreatBritain to create and sell various products.

Our detailed mapping reflects features on the ground at the time of last survey. Small-scale mapping is then produced as a reflection of our large-scale mapping database, sourced at the time of the last cartographic revision.

We therefore define historical mapping as mapping that no longer reflects the situation on the ground. 

We used to host a large map archive made of paper and had to distribute it within special conditions in order to ensure preservation.

Historical maps today 

We continue to sell a limited reproduction range of one inch to one mile maps (revised from the late 1800s and published in the early years of the 1900s) from our OS map shop. We also sell various historical products produced by our Licensed Partners.

The original historical maps now reside with local libraries around the country however.

Legal Deposit Libraries hold more extensive collections and offer reading and copying facilities for customers willing to visit and carry out their own searches. Please find links to these libraries below.

Contact historical map deposit libraries

If these sources do not hold the information you are looking for, please visit our partner finderpage for a list of our partners that offer historical maps.You may also find the Vision of Britain and British History Online websites of interest. The following stockists are also able to supply historical mapping:

 

Name Location
Blackwell's Aberdeen
Blackwell's Bristol
Blackwell's Cambridge
Blackwell's Leeds
Blackwell's Liverpool
Blackwell's Manchester
Blackwell's Newcastle
Blackwell's Oxford
Blackwell's Sheffield
Bluejet Southampton
Centrmaps Hornchurch, Essex
Centremaps Worcester
eMapSite Hampshire
Hereford Map Centre Hereford
John E Wright Derby
John E Wright Leicester
John E Wright Nottingham
Latitude Hertfordshire
Lincoln Print & Copy Centre Lincoln
Maplines Isle of Wight
Mason Maps Dunfermline
National Map Centre Hertfordshire
National Map Centre Kent
Nicholson Maps Largs, Ayrshire
Stanfords Bristol
Stanfords London
Stanfords Manchester
The Francis Frith Collection Salisbury
The Map Shop Upton Upon Severn