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This page intends to detail the efforts to map Derby, England in OpenHistoricalMap, and outline some of the resources available to mappers.

Everyone is welcome to get involved to help develop the map! Please see the main Open Historical Map wiki pages for details of how to get started mapping, in particular take a look at Open Historical Map/OHM Basics page.


So far mapper 'Paul The Archivist' has started mapping Derby. It is far from complete, many of the roads and other important features are still missing. In particular few of the suburban roads and more recent (20th-21st century) changes to the road network are mapped yet.

The highly detailed large scale (1:500) Ordnance Survey published in 1883 is useful as a base map for central Derby and the older parts of the inner city. The National Library of Scotland have made it available for tracing with in OpenHistoricalMap (and OpenStreetMap). The link for using this in map editors such as JOSM or ID is tms:{z}/{x}/{y}.png. For areas not covered by this map, the 25-inch maps and 1:10560 maps are particularly useful.

As the 1883 map has been used as a base map, there are some details shown in the map,2022 for this date that are not yet shown for earlier or later years as the start and end dates have not been yet identified.


These are just a few suggestions for tagging the features you're mapping in Derby in OpenHistoricalMap. Please also refer to the tagging guidance elsewhere in the OHM pages on the Wiki. Please add any further suggestions you have!

  • Please always try to ensure there is a start_date tag on everything you add, so that we don't have for example motorways and railway lines appearing on the map in Roman times! Also please always try and add an end_date if the feature no longer exists.
  • Currently the renderer only recognizes dates in the format yyyy or yyyy-mm-dd so these must be used in start_date and end_date. Often however you will only know an approximate date and it is important to record this uncertainty using a start_date:edtf or end_date:edtf tag.
  • When exact dates are not known it's probably best to take a conservative approach to setting the start and end dates - use what seems to be the latest possible date for start_date and and earliest possible date for end_date.
  • Names of streets etc have often changed over the years, and the map should try to represent these changes.
    • A couple of different options have been proposed for mapping such changes. A simple option is to use an overlapping way with the older name tag set on one way, with the end_date set as when it changed to the new name. For the new name create a new way using the same nodes with the start_date set as when the road changed to the new name. Another method is to use a relation, but this may not yet render on the map.
    • It can be difficult to determine exactly when that name has changed - one possible idea as a temporary workaround until the date of the change is identified is to put both names in the name tag separated by a semicolon.
    • Before the 19th century however spellings of road names and other features were often not standardized in the way they are today so different sources of a similar date may have different spellings. It may be best to tag these variations in spelling with an alt_name tag instead.

Resources available

Here are some of the resources available for mapping Derby and surrounding areas of Derbyshire.


Note: except for the OpenData maps, Ordnance Survey maps which are less than 50 years old cannot be used as they are copyrighted under 'Crown Copyright'. As Crown Copyright in maps expires after 50 years they may be freely used after that time (though the terms and conditions for digitized copies online must be checked, in case these prevent usage).


There are many books on the history of Derby, although very few are available online. Books must be used in accordance with copyright laws, which means that any maps, descriptions and images in them etc cannot be copied if they are in copyright. Printed books can however be used for research purposes to derive basic facts such as start and end dates as such facts are not copyrightable.

The list below is very incomplete, there are many more!

  • An Illustrated History of Derby by Maxwell Craven (2007, and an earlier 1980s edition Derby: An Illustrated History)
  • The Illustrated History of Derby Suburbs by Maxwell Craven (1996)
  • Street by Street: Derby by Maxwell Craven (2005). A useful source of start and end dates for streets on the inside of Derby ring road.

Older history books

Specific areas
  • The Story of Normanton by Normanton-by-Derby Local History Group (1993)
  • Derby and the Midland Railway by P. Billson
  • The Derby Townhouse by Maxwell Craven
  • Derby Trams and Buses by Alan G. Doig and Maxwell Craven
  • Illustrated History of Derby Pubs (check title, it's something like this) by Maxwell Craven
  • Rail Centres Derby by Brian Radford
  • The Story of Transport in Derby by Barry Edwards
Photo books
  • Keene's Derby
  • Memory Lane Derby
  • Winter's Derby
  • Winter's Derby volume 2

Other resources

Archives and local studies libraries

These have more resources than anywhere else including huge amounts of information which is not available online.

  • Derby Local Studies Library
  • Derbyshire Record Office
Archival records

Very few archive documents are available online. Derbyshire Record Office (in Matlock) is the main archive repository for Derby, but Derby Local Studies Library also holds many archival records.

  • Domesday Book - useful for identifying whether places (villages etc) existed in 1086 and the name at that time.
Newspapers and periodicals
Trade directories

  • Wikipedia
  • Historic England listed buildings data - this is also linked to via Wikidata. Useful source of start dates for buildings.