Submission of Files

YOUR SUBMISSIONS ARE WHAT MAKE THE ARCHIVES GROW! If you have any old maps lying around, please consider scanning them for inclusion in this map collection!

About Submissions The maps in the United States Digital Map Library were either published prior to 1923, produced by the United States government, or both. Each map is accompanied by information regarding the date of the publication and source. The United States Digital Map Library is providing access to these maps for research and genealogical purposes and is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection or any other restrictions.

About CopyrightsWe claim no copyright of scans of original pre-1922 maps which are in the public domain. We require that all contributions be offered to us on a permanent basis. Please note, permanent basis does not mean exclusive basis. Additionally, we are not able to accept actual assignment of copyright. The copyright holders should remain free to use the map anywhere that they deemed proper. We do not want to limit the submitters’ ability to publish and/or sell their own work; we simply offer an organized, permanent place to make the work available to Internet researchers - and with free access to the files. We want to offer people an opportunity to share their work with others, in a central location on the Internet to provide that permanency.

The Archives are intended for information that is in the Public Domain, i.e. that which is uncopyrightable, or the copyright has expired. The Digital Map Library will not knowingly place any file online that is under copyright, without permission of the copyright owner. In placing maps in the Archives, the following general guidelines have been used:

1.) ALL items with an ORIGINAL publishing or copyright date prior to 1923 are public domain. Anyone, including the United States Digital Map Library, may use them and distribute them freely.

2.) For items between 1923 and 1950, in order to still be copyrighted, the copyright holder must have renewed the copyright before the date it originally expired (a term of 28 years). However, because of the difficulty in determining the renewal of copyright for most documents of this period (as well as 1950 to present), it is required of the submitter to provide assurance of non-copyright for other than “public domain” materials.

Fair UseIf you wish to reproduce any map archived here at the United States Digital Map Library, please understand that U.S. Copyright Law allows for “fair use” of copyrighted material; fair use being reproduction of small portions for research. Reproduction of larger portions of copyrighted work will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Commercial use of the maps here at the Digital Map Library is strictly prohibited.

For More InformationAny and all of the above information should not to be construed as legal advice. To become better informed about copyrights, please visit the following resources for more information:

U. S. Copyright Office Home Page

10 Big Myths about copyright explained

Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy

The Copyright Website (real world practical information with specialized information for webmasters as well as general info)

Copyright Information for Educators, University of Washington

Submission Considerations

Future Projects
  • Submission Considerations

    Things to Think AboutWhen submitting files to us for use in the library, please keep these items in mind.

  • 1.) Our first consideration in presenting useful online maps is to have them readable. The maps should be readable to those folks with lesser quality monitors, and to those who are visually challenged. Therefore, most of our maps are very large.

  • 2.) Formats: TIFF files are preferred. Your file will be converted to jpeg, but we prefer to optimize the files here for visual clarity and size. Jpegs should be compressed at the lowest level (highest quality.)

  • 3.) All data is free to the public, the United States Digital Map Library will not pay royalties on any submissions. Do not send copyrighted material, unless it is your own, and you include a statement of permission to use, in the document.

  • 4.) Any obviously false, malicious, libelous, or copyrighted data will be erased. We retain the right to refuse any submission.

  • 5.) Once submitted, the data can’t be retracted by submitter.

  • 6.) These guidelines are subject to change.

Future Projects


The United States Digital Map Library is a free, volunteer-based project whose intent is to make public digitized copies of all historical maps.


We are always looking for more maps! If you have access to maps that we don't yet have a copy of on the site, please consider submitting them to the site. Be sure to visit the submissions page for more information on what we can and cannot take as well as submission procedures.


The project is in serious need of volunteers who are willing to take coordinate the map content for a state (or several states!). It doesn't take a lot of time and your efforts are so valuable to the preservation and publication of historical maps.

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