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Historical map archives

Ordnance Survey and historical maps

Whilst we are very proud of our work over the past two centuries, our government remit is to maintain the current mapping of Great Britain and to create and sell various products based on this current mapping.

To be clear, current, large scale, detailed mapping reflects features on the ground at the time of last survey and current small-scale mapping mapping reflects the features in our large scale mapping database, from which it is sourced, at the time of the last cartographic revision. Historical mapping in our terms, therefore, represents mapping that no longer reflects the situation on the ground.

We held a large paper-based archive at our previous offices unitl 2008. We distributed it to other custodians based on our understanding of our remit, our intention to move to smaller premises and the special conditions in which archive maps and documents need to be preserved.

Historical maps today

We continue to sell a limited reproduction range of 1 inch to 1 mile maps (revised from the late 1800s and published in the early years of the 1900s) from our our Map shop as well as various historical products produced by our Licensed Partners.

The original historical maps now reside with local libraries around the country and you may be able to find the historical maps that you wish to view there.

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 contact details for these libraries below.

Contacting Historical Map Deposit libraries:

If these sources do not hold the information you are looking for, please visit our partner finder page 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 Phone Email
Blackwell'sAberdeen01224 485845maps.aberdeen@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sBristol01179 276602maps.bristol@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sCambridge01223 463214maps.cambridge@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sLeeds01132 452623maps.leeds@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sLiverpool01517 096512maps.liverpool@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sManchester01612 743331maps.manchester@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sNewcastle01912 790945maps.newcastle@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sOxford01865 333677maps.oxford@blackwell.co.uk
Blackwell'sSheffield01142 687658maps.sheffield@blackwell.co.uk
BluejetSouthampton02380 517075info@bluejetmapping.co.uk
CentremapsHornchurch, Essex01708 477588london@centremaps.com
CentremapsWorcester01886 832972worcester@centremaps.com
eMapSiteHampshire01189 736883sales@emapsite.com
Hereford Map CentreHereford01432 266322sales@themapcentre.com
John E WrightDerby01332 344743derby@johnewright.com
John E WrightLeicester01162 556030leicester.maps@johnewright.com
John E WrightNottingham01159 506633maps@johnewright.com
LatitudeHertfordshire01707 663090enquiries@latitudemaps.co.uk
Lincoln Print & Copy CentreLincoln01522 546118sales@lincolncopycentre.co.uk
MaplinesIsle Of Wight01983 822000sales@maplines.co.uk
Mason MapsDunfermline01383 727261dunfermline@masonmap.com
National Map Centre
Hertfordshire01707 268212enquiries@mapsnmc.co.uk
National Map Centre
Kent01634 238237kent@mapsnmc.co.uk
Nicholson MapsLargs, Ayrshire01475 689242sales@nicolsonmaps.com
StanfordsBristol0117 929 9966stanfordsbristol@googlemail.com
StanfordsLondon0206 328957Martin.greenaway@stanfords.co.uk
StanfordsManchester0845 880 3730digital@stanfords.co.uk
The Francis Frith CollectionSalisbury01722 716 376sales@francisfrith.co.uk
The Map ShopUpton Upon Severn01684 593146themapshop@btinternet.com

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