Map Collection

We are currently undergoing a digitisation project and are working to make as many items in the Local History Collection available as possible, whilst being respectful of copyright, privacy and technological restrictions.

In the meantime, this page is just to whet your appetite in terms of early maps. More images will be added over time, so please check back regularly for all the updates.

And make sure to sign up to Bookmark, the Library's monthly e-newsletter so you don't miss anything that is happening.

Rights and the Maps Collection

The library maintains a number of collections containing rare and unique materials. Often these collections contain a mix of published and unpublished material.

In order to facilitate access, copying and publishing, donors of rare and unique material are asked to complete a rights agreement which sets out agreed conditions under which a library patron may, for example, make copies for research or study, or publish an extract in a book.

Library staff will refer first to these rights agreements when determining how you may use material in a particular collection.

The following is a summary of the most commonly requested information about copyright and rights in the Maps Collection.


Usually the copyright owner is the creator of a work (or their heirs and successors). For maps published by a corporate publisher the copyright is usually owned by the publisher.


Maps published in or before 1954 are free of copyright. For maps published in 1955 or later by a government publisher, copyright lasts for 50 years after the end of the year the map was published. For maps published in 1955 or later by a non government publisher, copyright lasts for 70 years after the end of the year the map was published.

For example a map published by a government publisher in 1960 will become free of copyright at the start of 2011. If published in 1960 by a non government publisher it will become free of copyright at the start of 2031. For unpublished maps, such as hand drawn items, copyright may continue indefinitely.

Copyright also covers map material that has not been published.


For a map in copyright

To copy an entire map in copyright, permission is required from the copyright holder. It is your responsibility to obtain such permission before the copying order is processed. Many publishers may provide a copy for you themselves.

Maps still in copyright can be copied for you in libraries under "fair dealing" exemptions of the Copyright Act 1968 for the purposes of research and study. However, you will need to demonstrate that you have followed your obligations under the Copyright Act. For a map in copyright a 10% portion of the map may be copied for research or study purposes only. In practice this usually means one A4 size portion (21cm x 30cm) of the map only. You do not need permission from the copyright owner to obtain a copy of a portion of a map as long as it is used for the purposes of research or study only. Permission is needed if you wish to copy the entire map, or if you intend to reproduce, display, publish or sell the copy.

For a map out of copyright

A map out of copyright held in our collection may be wholly copied subject to preservation requirements. Some maps may not be able to be photocopied as they are too old, rare or fragile. This material may be damaged by the stress, light and heat of the photocopying process. Usually this material may be photographed instead.

Purchasing a copy

Should you wish to purchase material from the Library's Maps Collection please check the copyright in the first instance. If a map is listed as “Courtesy of the State Library of Western Australia” then you need to seek permission and purchase a copy from them. Orders can be placed online via their order form. If the item does not mention the State Library as being the original owner then it is most likely a collection item owned by the Town and we can provide you with a copy for a fee. Please refer to 'Fees and Charges' on the About the Local History Collection page. 


Should you wish to publish material from the Library's Maps Collection, you do not need to obtain permission from the Library. However you will need to obtain copyright clearance from the copyright holder(s) if the map is still in copyright. Please also provide an accompanying citation which acknowledges the Local History Collection, Town of Victoria Park Library Service as custodian, and includes a collection number for the item. See also 'How do I acknowledge the Library in my publication?'

(Source: National Library of Australia 2021, 'Rights and the maps collection', National Library of Australia, accessed online 29 September 2021,


Real estate agents' subdivision plans

General maps