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The Charles Close Society Archives


The Charles Close Society Archives are located in the Map Department of Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR 


The collection is open during normal library hours:

  • Monday - Thursday: 9:00-12:45 and 14:00-17:10
  • Friday: 9:00-12:45 and 14:00-16:50
  • Saturday - Sunday: Closed



Appointments for access to the Archives should be made in advance by contacting the Head of the Map Department, Anne Taylor, by letter, by telephone (01223 333041) or by email ( Anyone wishing to use the collection must first acquire a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket. See here for information on the paperwork required and on how to book an appointment with the Registration Office. Members of the Charles Close Society wishing to consult the Charles Close Society Archives will not be charged for a ticket providing that they have first contacted Anne Taylor and provided their membership number. 

The Collections

The archive contains documentary and printed material dealing with cartographic matters with particular relevance to Ordnance Survey. 

The Catalogue

The catalogue is held online on ArchiveSearch, the Cambridge University website providing access to catalogues of archives throughout the University. (ArchiveSearch replaced the old catalogue, known as Janus, on 1 March 2021). To Search Everything in ArchiveSearch

  • Enter search terms into the search boxes on the ArchiveSearch home page
  • When the results of the search are returned you can use the 'Additional filters' list on the right-hand side to limit the results to items in the Map Department. Click on 'Map Dept. (GBR/3296) 12432' in the filter by 'ARCHON code (for CUL materials)' list.

To Search Within the Charles Close Society Archive only

Further Search Tips

  • To search for exact phrases the search words should be enclosed in inverted commas, e.g. “seventh series”. Without inverted commas the search will return all catalogue entries containing either seventh or series, though records including both will appear at the top of the search results list.
  • To search for map scale the format 1:63,360 or 63,360 should work.
  • Further Guidance on Searching ArchiveSearch

Information on other Map Department collections catalogued on ArchiveSearch (including Guy Messenger’s collection of Ordnance Survey maps, and the collection of railway maps) 


Many maps are held throughout the archive; in particular many Ordnance Survey files contain record copies of maps, some in experimental form. It is, however, not our policy in general for the archive to hold copies of Ordnance Survey or military maps, though it is hoped that the current owners of rare or even unique printings of maps will view the archive as a safe and permanent place of deposit. Many such maps are at risk of disposal, dispersal or destruction, and the disappearance of such irreplaceable items would be a permanent loss to our Ordnance Survey heritage. 

Digital Images

A collection of digital images of Ordnance Survey maps, which survive in tiny numbers and are at risk of extinction is held in boxes 218A and 218B in the Archive. See here for full list of archived digital images