Frequently Asked Questions

OUR PRODUCTS

ORDERS AND SHIPPING

HANDLING AND FRAMING YOUR PRINT

OUR PRODUCTS

1) What kind of products do you sell?

We sell museum-quality, archival print reproductions of antique maps. We have maps of locations from all over the world, covering all periods from the 15th century through the early 20th century.

2) Do you print all of your products?

Yes, we print everything we sell right here in our studio.

3) What kind of materials do you use in your prints?

We use only the highest quality materials in all our products. We always print on 100% cotton rag, acid-free fine art papers with archival pigment inks. Our maps are printed on paper with a natural white matte surface and have no gloss or sheen at all. All of our products are archival prints.

4) What is an "archival print"?

An archival print is one that is made of materials that are designed to preserve the print for as long as possible. The best materials for archival preservation: 1) are acid-free (acidic materials can cause discoloration and deterioration of paper), 2) are made with 100% cotton paper (cotton is considered to be one of the best archival materials for printed artwork), and 3) use pigment inks (pigment inks are made from naturally occurring ingredients, not from synthetic dyes, and as such are very stable and will resist changing or fading over time). If cared for and framed properly, our prints will last for generations with no noticeable fading or discoloration.

5) What sizes are available for your products?

Most of our products are offered in a range of sizes. You will be able to specify the size when you add the item to your shopping cart.

Where possible, we try to offer print sizes that match modern standard size frames (in inches), but since many antique maps were printed with different proportions than modern standard sizes, this is not always possible. The most common standard size frames are 8"x10", 11"x14", and 16"x20". These sizes are widely available in any store that sells frames. Less common standard sizes are 8"x8", 8"x12", 9"x12", 10"x15", 12"x12", 12"x16", 12"x18", and 16"x16". These sizes are available in most well-stocked stores that sell frames.

If you purchase a print that is not one of these standard sizes, you will most likely have to go to a frame shop to purchase a custom frame, or use one of the many online custom frame vendors.

6) Does the size listed for a print include a border?

1) For single print products, each size we offer is available with or without borders.

Select the 'no borders' option if you want no extra borders on your print. For prints with the 'no borders' option, the size listed will be the exact size of the printed area as well as the exact size of the paper. For example, a size of 11"x14" (no borders) means the exact size of the printed area will be 11"x14" and the exact size of the paper will also be 11"x14". This is a good option if you plan to frame the print in a frame without a mat.

Select the 'plus 1/2" borders' option if you want additional borders on your print. For prints with the 'plus 1/2" borders' option, an additional 1/2" blank border will be added to each side. For example, a size of 11"x14" (plus 1/2" borders) means the exact size of the printed area will be 11"x14" and the exact size of the paper will be 12"x15". This is a good option if you plan to frame the print in a frame with a mat so there is overlap between the mat and the print.

2) For prints sets, we do not add any blank borders to the prints. For each size a print set is offered in, the size listed will be the exact size of the printed area as well as the exact size of the paper. For example, a size of 11"x14" means the exact size of the printed area will be 11"x14" and the exact size of the paper will also be 11"x14". Print sets are designed to be placed in frames of the same size without a mat.

7) Can I purchase a print in a custom size or with custom borders?

In many cases, yes. If you need a print in a specific size or with borders different than those we offer, please contact us to see if it's possible to print the item with the customizations you need.

8) Do you offer framing services?

At this time we do not offer any framing services. All of our prints come without any framing or mounting. Many of our prints will fit in standard-size, off-the-shelf frames. For other, non-standard sizes you will need to bring your print to a frame shop for custom framing, or use one of the many online custom framing services.

9) I like one of your products, but I wish it were darker/lighter/yellower/etc. Can you alter the tone and color of a print?

Absolutely. If you want to alter the color or tone of a print, contact us and let us know what you'd like. In most cases we can make the alteration for free, though if you need something complex we may charge an extra fee for image preparation.

10) Can you make a print of an image I found/scanned?

If the resolution of your image is high enough, we can definitely make a print for you from your file. Please contact us so we can discuss what is required to get a good print from your image file. If you will be scanning the original material, we recommend scanning with a minimum resolution setting of 300ppi (pixels per inch) if you want to make a print at the same size as the original. If you want to make a much larger print than the original, we recommend scanning at a resolution of at least 600ppi, and preferably 1200ppi.

11) Do you have a retail shop I can visit?

No, we only sell prints through this website.

12) Do you have a catalog?

We don't have a printed catalog, this website is our official catalog.

13) Do you sell original antique maps?

No, we only sell reproductions.

14) I think I have an original antique map. Can you help me figure out if it's real and how much it's worth?

While we have some experience working with original antique maps, we're not experts. The best thing to do is to find an expert in your area so you can show them the print in person, since it's very hard to determine the authenticity and value of a print without seeing it first hand. We recommend that you find an antique map dealer in your area–most dealers will be able to appraise your print for you (usually for a fee). You may also consider contacting your local historical museum or society, or a local university library to see if they have someone on staff with expertise in antique maps who can assist you. See the list of dealers in antiquarian maps at MapRecord Publications to see if there is an antique map dealer near you.

15) Where can I get more information about antique maps?

You're in luck! We've put together a list of resources to help: Where to Find More Information about Antique Maps

ORDERS AND SHIPPING

16) What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) as well as Paypal.

17) When will I receive my order?

We usually process and print all orders within 1-2 business days. Shipping times will depend on which shipping service you select. Estimated delivery dates for the available shipping methods are shown on the shopping cart page and during the checkout process.

18) What shipping options do you offer?

We ship primarily via the US Postal Service. For domestic shipments we can ship via USPS Priority Mail (shipping time: 2-3 days) or USPS Priority Mail Express (shipping time: 1-2 days). For international shipments we can ship via USPS First Class International for smaller print sizes (shipping time: 10-15 business days), USPS Priority Mail International (shipping time: 6-10 business days), or USPS Priority Mail Express International (shipping time: 3-5 business days).

19) How much will shipping cost?

The final shipping costs will depend on the shipping method you choose and the overall size and weight of your prints. You can estimate shipping costs on the shopping cart page.

20) I need to receive my order ASAP, do you have an overnight shipping option?

If you need your order to arrive as soon as possible, select the Priority Mail Express shipping option during checkout. Priority Mail Express is an overnight service to most locations in the US, but please note that for most orders we usually ship 1-2 business days after the order is placed. If you're really in a rush, please contact us before placing your order to see if we can ship out your order the same day.

21) How do you pack the prints for shipping?

We ship all prints flat in sturdy flat packaging or in boxes. We do ship any prints rolled in tubes. Each print is first placed in a clear, archival sleeve for protection. You should keep your print in this sleeve until you are ready to frame it.

22) What is your returns policy?

Please see our returns policy page for complete information on returns.

HANDLING AND FRAMING YOUR PRINT

23) What's the best way to handle my print?

When handling your print, hold the paper by the edges only–never touch the printed surface. Oils on your hands could transfer to the print, potentially degrading the quality. Your print is reasonably resistant to scratches, but it is always best to handle it with care.

24) How should I store my print if I'm not ready to frame it yet?

If you don't plan to frame your print immediately, make sure to store it in an archival protective sleeve or an archival box. We always place prints in archival sleeves sleeves for protection before shipping, and you should keep this sleeve for storage. Store your print flat in a dark place away from sources of light.

25) What's the best way to frame my print?

When framing your print, always use all acid-free materials, and for best protection we recommend that you use glass or acrylic with UV filtering. Never hang your print where it will receive any direct sunlight.

26) Where can I purchase a frame?

If you want the most options to choose from when framing, we recommend that you take your print to your local frame shop to purchase a custom frame. Frame shops usually have a very large selection of mats and frames, and will be able to to size the materials exactly as you like. They also have the expertise to make sure you get the highest quality framing possible.

If your print is in a standard size and you want to purchase an off-the-shelf, standard-size frame, we recommend that you check out art supply stores in your area. Most art supply stores stock a wide range of ready-made frames.

There are also numerous online custom frame vendors that allow you to specify custom sizing for frames and mats. These frames are often less expensive than custom frames at a local frame shop, though more expensive than off-the-shelf frames from an art supply store. The quality of the materials is often on par with the best custom frame shops, and usually much better than what you can find in an art supply store. Two companies we can recommend are American Frame and Frame Destination.

27) What factors will affect the longevity of my print?

Light: Regular exposure to light, especially ultraviolet light (UV) will cause fading over time. It's best to keep your print away from sources of UV light, especially direct sunlight. Other sources of UV light include fluorescent lamps and some halogen lamps. While dark storage offers the best protection against light, most people choose to frame and display their print. Choose a glass or acrylic with UV filtering when framing to obtain the best protection. Never hang your print where it will receive any direct sunlight.

Temperature: Avoid storing or displaying your print in high or extremely low temperatures for long periods of time. The optimum temperature range is 68°-77° F (20°-25° C). Don't worry if your temperature goes outside this ranges for short terms, but definitely try to avoid keeping your print in extreme temperatures for longer periods.

Humidity: Avoid storing or displaying your print in high or extremely low humidity. The optimum humidity range is 30-50% relative humidity. If you're concerned about longevity and have your print in an environment of extended low or high humidity, you may consider getting a humidifer (for low humidity) or de-humidifier (for high humidity).

Atmospheric Contaminants: Pollutants such as cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, and other chemicals also can affect print longevity. Prints should be stored to avoid contact with air, or framed behind glass or acrylic (especially glass with UV filtering). Never store or display your print in an area where chemicals are stored.

Acidity: Print quality can diminish if prints are stored or displayed in direct contact to materials with high acidity. Acidic materials can cause the paper to discolor and may change the colors in the print. When storing or framing your print, make sure to use only acid-free archival materials.