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Map Collection

Preservation, Access, and Reproductions

Introduction | Search the Collection | Indexes and Descriptions of Types | Subject Authority List | Guide to Map Details | Preservation, Access, and Reproductions | Maps in other TSLAC Collections

Preservation & Access

The items in the Texas State Archives Map Collection have been acquired from a wide variety of sources. In most cases a map has already had a useful life serving a state or government agency, library, school, business or individual. Few maps enter the Collection in pristine condition, and many show wear or some form of damage.

While maps are an important research tool and can be a profound source of information, they are subjected to wear and potential damage every time they are pulled, copied, or otherwise handled.

To promote the preservation of the Map Collection we encourage researchers to limit their requests to the maps that will most likely satisfy their research needs. This can usually be accomplished by a careful reading of the written description available for each map.

Photocopies (11 inches by 17 inches and smaller)

We are able to provide black-and-white photocopies of maps up to 11 inches by 17 inches (27.8 centimeters by 43 centimeters) in total size.

The Archives will not accept photocopy requests for any map, regardless of condition, larger than 11 inches by 17 inches (27.8 centimeters by 43 centimeters).

The size of a map provided in the map's description is the measurement of the map within its borders. The size of the margins will prohibit the copying of some maps because the sheet itself is too large.

The copying of maps 11 inches by 17 inches (27.8 centimeters by 43 centimeters) and smaller may also be restricted due to their physical condition and copyright status.

Please contact us directly for additional information concerning our ability to reproduce a particular map and for a price quote, if applicable. 

Digitally Scanned Copies

Hundreds of maps within this collection have been scanned and digital images of these maps are available through this online application.   

The list of search results will include a thumbnail image within the Imaging column for those maps that have been scanned and are available online.  A link to download the image is available within the map description in the database and can be located by clicking on the Map Number within the search results. 

In order to search specifically for maps that have been scanned and have digital images available for download, select the Image option at the bottom of the Map Collection search form. 

While the Archives is able to provide very high quality digital reproductions suitable for most research, publication, digital, or film and video applications, the quality of the reproductions will always be limited by the size and physical condition of the original. If a map image already exists, a fee applies for re-scanning maps at a higher resolution.

If you are interested in obtaining digital images of maps within our collection that have not already been scanned, please contact us for additional information.  Depending on several factors, including the map’s size, condition, and copyright status, we may be able to digitize the items, with the requestor covering the cost. Requests for digitization may take three to four weeks to complete.

Full Size Printed Reproductions (maps larger than 11 inches by 17 inches)

For maps larger than 11 inches by 17 inches (27.8 centimeters by 43 centimeters), we may be able to print a full size, color reproduction.  Our ability to print a map depends upon its size, whether or not the map has been previously digitized, its condition if digitization is required, and its copyright status.  For additional information on ordering a reproduction of an oversize map, please contact us

Please keep in mind that fine details of large format maps originally printed from full-size plates can seldom be replicated by reduced film negatives or transparencies. Additionally, original quality cannot be duplicated by reproducing maps that are worn or damaged.

We welcome your inquiries about the maps, the Map Collection, and reproductions.  We can be contacted at:

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Archives & Information Services Division

PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927
phone: 512-463-5455

Page last modified: December 15, 2017