Map Collections
Rights and Reproductions

Copyright and Restrictions | Availability of Reproductions | For Further Information

Copyright and Restrictions

Most maps in the Map Collections materials were either published prior to 1922, produced by the United States government, or both (see catalogue records that accompany each map for information regarding date of publication and source). A few have permission from the copyright holders as noted in the descriptive record. The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17 of the United States Code) or any other restrictions in the Map Collection materials.

Note that the written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult How to Cite Electronic Sources on the Learning Page.

Availability of Reproductions

You may obtain Photographic Reproductions or download Digital Images

Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

Photographic copies of maps found in American Memory can be purchased from the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service. These reproductions are made from digital images. (Digital reproductions in TIFF format are also available.) The Photoduplication Service estimates that it takes 3-6 weeks to complete an order. To request a reproduction:

  1. Take down the DIGITAL ID number and the TITLE from the bibliographic description.

  2. Consult the Photoduplication Service for pricing details and order forms:


  3. Contact the Photoduplication Service to place an order:


    fax: 202-707-1771

Download Digital Images

No special viewers are required to view maps in the American Memory collections. American Memory maps are presented, via your browser, as .gif (Graphics Interchange Format) files. A compression technology, called MrSID (Multi-Resolution Seamless Image Database) developed by LizardTech, allows you to zoom in or out on an area of the map that you wish to inspect. Maps are stored in .sid format.

The MrSID .sid files of American Memory maps are available to download to your computer. The download option is available at the bottom of the "Zoom View" page for each map. The average size of files in the .sid format is 5 megabytes.

For Further Information

If you have comments or additional questions, please contact us.

Library of Congress