Section of medieval cartulary showing Chertsey Abbey, c.1432 (Catalogue reference: E 164/25)

This is a brief guide to researching maps. Maps are kept in a variety of archives and libraries. The National Archives has more than six million maps and plans ranging from the fourteenth century to the modern day. Look at the map pages on our website to find out even more about maps at The National Archives.

Did you know?

Many of The National Archives' maps are unique, either because they are original manuscript drawings or because they are printed items annotated in manuscript. An Admiralty chart, for example, may have been coloured to show the limits of fishing rights agreed in a treaty.

Tithe maps and Valuation Office survey maps are some of the most useful to family and local historians. Copies of the tithe maps and working copies of the Valuation Office survey are often kept in local archives.

Maps of places overseas were created or used for foreign and colonial business. Many also reflect the planning and conduct of military, naval and air campaigns and operations.

You can view and buy maps from The National Archives' image library.