Copying restrictions


Material which might be damaged will not be photocopied, but other forms of reproduction may be possible, such as photographs. For conservation reasons, we prefer to copy whole maps, not extracts, so for business and professional users photocopies are full size only.


Map still in copyright may not be copied without permission of the publisher.

  • Commercially published (including foreign) maps. Copyright lasts for 70 years from the end of the year of publication.
  • Crown copyright (Ordnance Survey and other government bodies). Copyright lasts for 50 years.
Ordnance Survey Copyright
  • OS maps over 50 years old. Out of copyright; no permission from OS is necessary.
  • OS superseded maps less than 50 years old. OS permission is required. For single requests, apply for permission to OS. A royalty fee may be payable. Regular users may find it convenient to apply for an OS permission letter which allows superseded maps to be copied. Please note that OS has several types of licence or permission letter - your letter must state that it is for maps owned by libraries. A letter of permission must be shown to Map Collections staff when an order for copyright maps is placed.
  • OS current maps. For business, professional and commercial use, printouts and digital data are available only from OS agents (although the maps may be consulted in the Library).

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