Maps in libraries and archives


From 13 July we will be reopening five libraries in East Sussex.

We are not able to offer a full library service due to the need for social distancing. We will be encouraging people to continue to use our eLibrary where they can so that we can manage customer numbers safely.

If you have any questions regarding the reopening of libraries or available services, please contact us via our eform or on the enquiries line 0345 60 80 196.

For more information on the available libraries, opening times and services visit the Libraries Reopening Plan.

Libraries and our record office have detailed large scale maps of East Sussex, and libraries also offer small scale leisure maps.

Search the online library

Large scale maps

Most libraries have large scale maps covering their local area. Some libraries like Rye, Eastbourne and Lewes hold larger collections.

  • Ordnance Survey (OS) modern maps including 6 inches to a mile (1:10,000 scale) and 25 inches to a mile (1:2,500 scale) for rural areas and 50 inches to a mile (1:1,250 scale) for urban areas.
  • County Series historical maps from the 1870s to the 1930s.

East Sussex Record Office at The Keep has Ordnance Survey 6 and 25 inch maps from 1875 to 1930s, as well as pre-1813 printed maps of the county.

Small scale maps

Small scale maps, like OS Explorer and Landranger maps used for country walks, can be borrowed from libraries. Search the online library for ‘map’ plus other relevant words, like ‘maps east sussex’ or ‘maps walks’.

Libraries in Bexhill, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Lewes and Uckfield have full sets of Explorer maps for the whole county.

Other types of maps

Other maps are held mainly at Eastbourne Library and the record office. They include:

  • tithe maps
  • estate plans
  • provisional maps of registered common land and open spaces
  • shopping centre plans
  • admiralty charts
  • geological maps
  • aerial photos.

Tracing the history of your house

Contact the library nearest your area of interest or the record office to find out if we have what you want.

There are some rules about what you can copy:

  • Ordnance Survey maps are in copyright for 50 years after the year of publication.
  • Goad plans – shopping centre maps – are in copyright for 70 years after the year of publication.

During this period you may make up to four copies of a single A4 sized extract, if these are required for non-commercial research or private study.