Historic maps and archives
We held a large paper-based archive at our previous offices until 2008, distributing it to other custodians before we moved to smaller premises. Original historical maps now reside with local libraries around the country, so you may be able to find historical maps that you wish to view there.
Instructions issued to our Surveyors
At Ordnance Survey, our instructions for surveyors have always focussed on precison and accuracy. When maps were painstakingly hand drawn, draftsmen, field examiners and plan examiners were given strict guidelines for quality assurance.
Ordnance Survey International Collection
The air photography, map and survey record archives of the Ordnance Survey International Collection were created over a period of 53 years from 1946. They are no longer needed for operational purposes and responsibility for the records has passed to the National Archives.
Field parcel numbers and the RPA
Find out who can help if you need a field parcel number or measurement.
Historic origins of placenames
Place names usually derive from landscape features, the nature of the settlement or the people who live there. Learn about the origins of place names in Scotland or Wales influenced by or directly attributable to Gaelic, Scandinavian, Scots and Welsh.
Our story begins back in the time of the French Revolution, and we haven't stopped capturing Britain's landscape since.