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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

General information about the Map Department can be found here:

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. An appointment to acquire a ticket should be made in advance with the Admissions Office (telephone 01223 333030, email
Members of the Charles Close Society wishing to consult the Charles Close Society Archives will not be charged for a ticket on production of their current CCS membership card and providing that they have first contacted Anne Taylor who will support their application.

The Collections
The archive contains documentary and printed material dealing with cartographic matters which are relevant in particular to the Ordnance Survey. The catalogue is held online on JANUS, the Cambridge University website which provides access to the catalogues of archives throughout Cambridge, at

To search for items held in the Charles Close Society Archive, go to the “Participating Institutions” link on the JANUS home page, and choose “Cambridge University Library : Map Department”. Then, under the “univmaps” heading, choose “CCSA”. This will bring up a list of the 22 fonds which currently form the Charles Close Society Archive.

The direct link is

In order to restrict searches only to items in the Charles Close Society Archive, use the “Advanced Search” facility in the “Search Janus” box, and under “Restrict search to”, select “Cambridge University Library Map Department”. In Advanced Search it is advisable to limit one's search to a single search item per box, and without punctuation, and, if no records are found, to press "Start a new search" before trying again.

Many maps are held throughout the archive; in particular many Ordnance Survey files contain record copies of maps, some in experimental form. Searching on map scales in the form “2500” or “63,360” (N.B. without “1:” or “1/”, and without a comma to 9999), or on shortform titles such as “Seventh Series” should lead to maps as well as documents of interest. 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.