Obtaining copies of in-copyright Ordnance Survey maps

The National Library of Scotland is an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner, so we are able to make copies of superseded Ordnance Survey maps that are in copyright, i.e. those published within the last 50 years but before 31 December 1995. The copies can be photocopies or images of the original maps.


Duration of Crown Copyright

Copyright in OS maps lasts for 50 years from the end of the year in which the map was published. For example, a map published in December 1960 passed out of copyright in January 2011. For a map published in January 1961, copyright expired in January 2012.

Copying for private / non-commercial purposes

It is possible to obtain extracts of up to A4 size of in-copyright maps for private, non-commercial use, subject to the following conditions outlined in copyright legisation:

  • The Library has to be satisfied that the copy is required either for research for a non-commercial purpose or for private study, and that it will not be used for any other purpose
  • No person can be given more than one copy of the same material or a copy that is more than a reasonable proportion of any work
  • The person to whom copies are supplied pays a sum for them not less than the cost attibutable to their production.

In addition, the Ordnance Survey requires that each copy is accompanied by an acknowledgment in the following form, unless it is impossible for reasons of impracticality: '© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey®'.

Further information is available from the Ordnance Survey website.


Charges for copying of full sheets for any other purpose

We will charge a royalty fee on behalf of the Ordnance Survey, plus our usual copying fee.

The Ordnance Survey royalty fee is £15.00 (£18.00 inc. VAT) per map sheet for 1:10,560 and larger (more detailed) scales.

Royalties for 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales are calculated per km square. If you wish to order copies of these maps, please contact us at maps@nls.uk so that we can send you an estimate of the costs.

The paper photocopy fees are:

A2 (420 x 594 mm) :    £1.90 (ex. VAT);  £2.28 (inc. VAT)
A1 (594 x 841 mm) :    £3.25 (ex. VAT);  £3.90 (inc. VAT)
A0 (841 x 1189 mm) :   £6.40 (ex. VAT);  £7.68 (inc. VAT)

A standard £6.00 postage and packing charge (£7.20 inc. VAT) is added to these prices, applying to all rolled maps packed in map tubes.

The cost of digital images on CD / DVD is £13.00 (£15.60 inc. VAT), which includes the cost of the disk. A standard £2.50 postage and packing fee (£3.00 inc. VAT) is added to the price.


Georeferenced images

We are also able to supply georeferenced images of in-copyright maps. Georeferencing aligns the original map image with its real-world coordinates so that it can be displayed within geographic software. The georeferencing process would usually also involve cropping the non-map margins of the map sheet, so that the visible extent would just be the map itself.

By default, we would supply the image as a GeoTIFF in the British National Grid format (EPSG:27700), but we can supply in other formats and projections upon request.

The Ordnance Survey royalty fee for supplying a georeferenced image is currently £17.60 (£21.12 inc. VAT) per map sheet for 1:10,560 and larger (more detailed) scales.

The cost of digital images on CD / DVD is £13.00 (£15.60 inc. VAT), which includes the cost of the disc. We also charge a standard £5.00 fee (£6.00 inc. VAT) to georeference a map sheet. A standard £2.50 postage and packing fee (£3.00 inc. VAT) is added to the price.

The total cost per sheet would therefore be £38.10 (£45.72 inc. VAT).

For larger numbers of sheets forming a mosaic, please discuss your requirements with us as we may be able to substantially reduce unit costs.

View a georeferenced layer of Ordnance Survey 1:1,250 scale mapping for the Edinburgh environs.



How to order

Email maps@nls.uk with the following information:

  • The area you are interested in. Let us know either the specific sheet you require (e.g. NT 2374, published 1974) or the URL of the map from our OS sheet records viewer or send us a site plan of your location (see example site plan of your location in PDF format)
  • The date(s)/time period you are interested in
  • The map scale(s) that you would prefer. For help in choosing map scales, see our guide to the main map series that can be copied
  • The type of copy you require, i.e. paper copy or digital image
  • If a digital image, whether you would like this to be georeferenced (see above)
  • Your full postal address and contact details.

We will then get back to you with details of the OS maps that are available and an estimate of costs.


Further information

Contact us for further information or for any queries about the service.


Map series that can be copied




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