Changes to our record copying service

On 2 February 2016 we will launch a new record copying service, integrating the service into our online catalogue, Discovery, with revised costs and clearer guidance on how to order copies.

Record copying allows people to request digital or paper copies of our records – an essential service for those unable to visit The National Archives, or for when records are not available to download.

Reviewing record copying

The record copying service is a two-stage process: people send us details of a document they want copied, and then we find and check the document to see if copies can be made and how much they will cost.  After this, people decide if they wish to order the copies.

During reviews of the service, we found that the system was unintuitive and that we received a high number of speculative requests which did not become record copying orders, as well as requests we could not fulfil. We wanted to improve the success rate of the first stage, as well as make the service more perceptive and easy-to-use.

Making improvements

We’re introducing a new first step to the process: a paid-for page check, costing £8.24. This will cover the staff resources it takes to find the information that someone wants copied, and to assess whether we can safely copy it. To offset this cost, we have revised our current fees structure, reducing the cost of both digital and paper copies. Documents up to A3 in size will now both cost £1.10 per copy; digital copies previously cost £3.50 and paper copies £1.30.

We’re also integrating the record copying service into our online catalogue Discovery, to make sure all requests provide a valid document reference number. We’re introducing new features so people can track their order as it progresses through the record copying service.

Through user testing, we have worked  to improve the design of the service, as well as create better guidance, including a video that will show the full process.

Find out more about the new record copying service.

Service maintenance

The record copying service will be unavailable on:

  • Thursday 14 January, for essential maintenance linked to the changes
  • Monday 1 February, for service upgrade

Tags: news, record copying