Historic maps and charts are an excellent aid to studying our heritage as they present large amounts of information in a simple form. They can show conditions at the point in history when the map was made and can be used to compare features with more recent maps.

Accuracy of maps and charts depends on their intended use, how they were surveyed and the scale at which they are drawn. For instance, features on land may be omitted on marine charts if they were not relevant to mariners.

The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office holds the national archive.