The collection consists of trench maps and aerial photographs created during the First World War. The majority of the maps were created by the British Ordnance Survey for the Allied forces, although a few German, French and other maps purchased privately by officers exist within the collection. As the collection is almost exclusively made up of British mapping, coverage is limited to the British sector of the Western Front extending from the English Channel in the north to the vicinity of Reims in the south.
The aerial photographs were produced by the [British] Royal Flying Corps (renamed Royal Air Force when it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service in 1918). However, a few French and German examples exist within the collection. Approximately 350 photographs in the collection have hand annotations ranging from simple circles indicating the location of important features on the recto to full, textual descriptions on the verso. Approximately 90 additional photographs are mounted in an Album acquired from the University of Alberta.