I am preparing a paper and want to include some images from historical maps. There are several online examples and I want to snip a fragment (no more than 10% of the total image area), maybe clean it up a little, and use it in my paper. The fact that I'm only using a small part of the image and it's undergoing some transformative process seem like very reasonable grounds for claiming this is covered by 'fair use' but IANAL. However, suitable journals where I'd send my paper (of course) want all image rights/copyrights cleared in advance with my submission.
The online digital images almost invariably come from vendor sites who would like to sell me a print of the map for £££ and they are not going to give permission, even for non-commercial use. Although I could buy copies of the prints and scan them myself I'd prefer any more cost-effective suggestions.
This is different from How to use copyrighted images in an article? (they wanted to use the whole images) and Academic fair use and using publication images in your thesis (the images had already been published in books/papers and there was a publisher to approach)