In Admiralty charts, you may locate editions, states, and printed amendments not found anywhere else. Some coastal features and places were named, and some are now obsolete.
In the course of using the charts, they have been updated and improved. A chart can also be used to suggest changes or indicate errors with correspondence. In addition to full charts, we have charts that have been cut into pieces to illustrate certain points. Occasionally, military and civilian personnel copy or trace charts in the course of their duties.
Nautical charts for navy
United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) nautical charts are British Admiralty nautical charts. Several thousand Standard Nautical Charts (SNCs) are available through the Admiralty portfolio, which covers the widest number of international shipping routes and ports with varying levels of detail. You should fill out this form and let us know the chart number/area so that we can get back to you with a price quote, lead time and availability.
Charts are updated continually to ensure accuracy and practicality, and old charts are destroyed to reduce navigational hazards. As well as recording the survey and compilation dates, a record of any correction dates was kept. A chart was often corrected by modifying the copper plates on which it was printed and republishing the new edition; other charts were redrawn.
The Hydrographic Office often used older surveys to create Admiralty charts in the early days. So in some cases, Admiralty charts were based on surveys made over a century ago.
Searching by location or name of a place
In our catalog, Admiralty charts can be found in the following ways:
- You might want to search by place name rather than a broad term instead of a town name or other feature.
- Searches can be refined by date with the advanced search functionality
Additionally, detailed charts, traced charts, and partial charts will appear in the records.
A four-volume published catalog includes both a summary catalog and a supplementary map catalog (card index). And charts are organized topographically for geographic searching.
Navigating Admiralty charts based on their numbers
A numerical card index of Admiralty charts is available in the Map and Large Document Reading Room. Charts are not yet described in our online catalog. Listed on each card are the following details:
- Briefly explain the geographic area of the chart
- Document reference for the chart
The document does not contain any of the following:
- As of the date of the survey
- Revise or publish dates
- Documentation for charts, tracings, and copies
A chart of the navy is titled by the area it covers. The bottom right corner of every chart also bears a number since 1839, and this is the major reference for the chart. Chart numbers may include prefixes and suffixes.
In view of the fact that Captain Cook reused many chart numbers. Please make sure that the area shown on the index card corresponds to that of your search. As a chart 483, it was associated at different times with the St. Jago chart in the Cape Verde islands. With the Thursday Island chart in the Torres Straits west of Australia, as well as the Cook Straits chart and with the Madagascar chart.
The Summary Calendar of Maps and Plans contains a chart index under the heading “Charts: Admiralty”. Many of these charts are not yet included in our published catalogues and card index.