MBTA is the transit agency for Greater Boston, Massachussetts, USA.

The website for the Massachusetts State Transportation Library contains many old MBTA maps and other transit-related items. A user on Flickr has collected a number of these maps, one of which is reproduced below.

Old map of Boston

I would like to use one of these old maps for a project (which may end up being commercial).

My questions:

  1. What is the copyright status of these maps?
  2. Are they in the public domain?
  3. Can I use them commercially?
  4. What if I modify them (mostly by removing/changing text for artistic purposes)?
  5. Does the year of the map matter?

Thank you!

  • 1
    The "Permission" section of this map I found on Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1988_MBTA_subway_map.png) says that "This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was a Commonwealth of Massachusetts public record disseminated by a Commonwealth agency or the Massachusetts Archives." Seems like a good sign!
    – camden
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 7:32


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