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For more information on NARA's cartographic holdings

Ordering Reproductions of Maps, Plans, and Aerial Photographs

How to Cite Records when Ordering Reproductions

To order copies of records in Cartographic and Architectural holdings, you will need to know:

If you already have the correct record file citation, you may be able to place an order for reproductions directly. See the section below on Placing Orders with Vendors.

To Request Information about Records

Include the following in your request to the Cartographic and Architectural Reference Staff:

  • For Maps and Drawings
    • subject
    • geographic area
    • time period
    • name of the structure (for architectural drawings)
    • name of equipment (for engineering drawings)
    If you found the item in the Online Catalog please provide the control number for that series.

  • For Aerial Photographs
    1. A detailed map clearly outlining the site limits.
    2. A brief geographic description of the site including where possible
      • state
      • county
      • geographic coordinates
      • variant spellings of the site name
      • relative location of the site with nearby, well-known geographic locales

    If you found the item in the Online Catalog please provide the control number for that series.

Cartographic and Architectural staff will select either the indexes you should purchase (if the area is large) or the individual photographs needed (if the area is small).

On-Site Research

On-site researchers may examine maps, architectural drawings, aerial photographs, and finding aids may be examined in the Cartographic and Architectural Research Room. For the most productive research, before your visit assemble the specific information described above under How to Cite Records when Ordering. Limited reproduction services are available for a fee to walk-in researchers. See Self-service copying in the D.C. Area and Information for Researchers for more information.

Searches in the Online Catalog

To search for Maps and Aerial Photos in the Online Catalog
  • From the Online Catalog main page, click on the yellow "Search" button
  • Select "Architectural and Engineering Drawings," "Photographs and Graphic Materials," "Maps and Charts," and/or "Satellite Images" from the Type filter box. Press the "Go" button.
  • You may limit your search further by entering keywords in the Keywords boxes. If you wish you may also limit search by specific NARA Location by selecting one or more from the NARA Location filter box.

Most Cartographic and Architectural records identified in the Online Catalog are described at the series level rather than the item level. A series may contain one individual item or thousands of items. The Cartographic and Architectural staff plans to add more information at the item level, but very few series in the online catalog will ever include lists of individual items.

The items digitized under NARA's Electronic Access Project, and viewable through the Online Catalog, represent only a small sampling from the much larger universe of Cartographic and Architectural holdings.

If the series you are looking for is described in the Online Catalog, you will need to know the series control number and the individual file notation for the original record. If you do not have this complete record file citation, you will first have to request further information as described above under "Maps and Drawings" or "Aerial Photographs."

See also "Cartographic and Architectural Records"

Placing Orders with Vendors

The National Archives and Records Administration has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with several private vendors to supply digital, photographic, and oversize electrostatic reproductions of the items in its holdings.

To obtain a package containing a list of the vendors and their price sheets:
  • Contact the Cartographic and Architectural staff

Note: Certain types of copies (microfilm and electrostatic page-sized copies) are not produced by the vendors. If you require such types of copies, contact the Cartographic and Architectural staff and we will provide you with ordering information. All reproductions are made to order for a fee; the Cartographic and Architectural staff does not maintain a stock of copies.

  • Vendors supply copies of items held in the College Park, Maryland facility. For copies from the Regional Archives, contact those facilities directly.
  • You must have the specific item numbers obtained from the Cartographic and Architectural staff or from one of the staff's finding aids to order a reproduction from a vendor.

How to Contact Us

Mailing Addresses

Maps and Plans Group
Cartographic and Architectural Reference (NWCS-Cartographic)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001


Aerial Photographs Team
Cartographic and Architectural Reference (NWCS-Cartographic)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphia Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001


E-mail Address:

Phone: (301) 837-3200

Fax: (301) 837-3622

Note: when submitting a request via e-mail, please include a regular mail address. Cartographic and Architectural Reference Staff often have to send researchers hardcopy finding aids or reproduction ordering information.

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