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Access to map and topographical material | Maps and topography | Birmingham City Council

Key announcements

Due to essential maintenance some of our online forms will be unavailable from 4pm Thursday 25 February 2021 to 9am on Monday 1 March 2021.  ​​​​​​​We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Coronavirus (COVID-19) National lockdown: Stay at Home

Access to map and topographical material

A range of maps is housed in the map drawers and shelves within the Heritage Research Area (HRA) itself. These are on open access and are freely available for general use. The map indexes will help identify such material and their location in the map drawers. Ordnance Survey maps (folded sheets) are on shelves at the end of the EAST mobile. Many maps are stored off the floor and will need to be requested from the HRA counter or if fragile, very large or manuscript, from the Wolfson Centre for archival research (WCAR) and collected from storage. This will mean a delay in access to such items. Our staff will explain the appropriate arrangements.

Many Birmingham maps are referenced in the printed Local Studies pre-1941 book catalogue and the 1941 to 1974 card catalogues near the HRA counter. There are also entries for maps on Calm (although not all are on CalmView) and Spydus; some of these entries duplicate or replace entries in the hard-copy catalogues.

Most maps outside the Birmingham area are listed in the Map Collection card catalogue and there are also entries for maps on Spydus (and a few on Calm); again some of these entries duplicate or replace entries in the hard-copy catalogues.

Open our online catalogues

Birmingham City Council's planning department carried out a collaborative project with Historic England to map describe and date all the past and present uses of every piece of land in the Birmingham area. Read more about the project.