The British Library holds a comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans produced by the London-based firm Charles E. Goad Ltd. dating back to 1885.
About the collectionWe hold hundreds of sets of fire insurance plans by Charles E. Goad Ltd, large-scale maps of urban centres in the United Kingdom and Canada published between 1885 and 1930.
We also hold the archive of Chas E. Goad Ltd (1899-1972), which consists of 39 volumes of letter books and miscellaneous manuscripts that include correspondence, surveys and indices.
Shopping centre plans began to be produced in 1966, and were published at a scale of 1:1056 (1 inch to 88 feet). We hold editions of these maps up to 1999.
What is available online?In our Online Gallery you can see a comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans produced by the firm Charles E. Goad Ltd. dating back to 1885, at Fire insurance maps and plans.
What is available in our Reading Rooms?Original copies of Fire insurance plans and Shopping centre plans can be found in the Maps Reading Room. Goad Manuscripts and Goad Archive are available using Explore the British Library.
What is available in other organisations?Experian, the successor to Goad, ceased producing paper shopping centre plans in 1999, so legal deposit at the British Library also ended in that year. However, current editions are still available directly from Experian. They offer digital files as A4 or A3 PDFs, or print-on-demand 1:1000 scale paper plans (A4 - A0) covering entire retail centres.
The Goad retail database from Experian is the current incarnation of shopping centre plans.
The following text provide further information on our globes collections:
Rowley, Gwyn, British fire insurance plans. Goad, 1984.
Rowley, Gwyn and Shepherd, Peter, A source of elementary, spatial data for town centre research in Britain. Area 8 3 (1976), 201-208.
A catalogue of fire insurance plans published by Chas E. Goad 1878-1970. Part A 'British Isles'. Part B 'Foreign'. Goad, 1984.