The Norfolk Historical Map Explorer includes around 8,300 aerial photographs of Norfolk taken between 1945-6.
After the Second World War the RAF photographed almost all of the United Kingdom as part of a National Air Survey. This was done to help with the revision of maps and with highways and planning work. This and later surveys provide a record of the landscape in the second half of the twentieth century. They are used today for research into land use, planning, coastal erosion, archaeology, local history, boundaries, hedgerows and Second World War defences.
The photographs do not cover all of Norfolk. English Heritage's National Monuments Record includes others. Cloud or camera failure may also cause some gaps.
The photographs are at a scale of around 1:10,000 or six-inches to one-mile.
The photography, the printing and the condition of the prints all vary. Some prints have damage such as scratches, and marks from impurities in the printing process. A diagonal cross may be drawn on in pencil, marking the centre of the photograph. The image is as close as possible to the original print. It has not been sharpened, but the contrast may have been adjusted. The prints have not been cropped, except to remove strips from the next frame where these occur. The information strip is not always in the same position.
The photographs are Crown Copyright and reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
The collection includes prints generously donated by the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group. Other prints are on permanent loan from the Department of Planning and Transportation, Norfolk County Council.