Order copies of documents
Alongside our larger scale copying services, The National Archives provides a record copying service for people who want copies of our records in relatively small volumes.
We can either copy our documents onto paper or deliver them to you digitally. To do this we need to provide you with a quotation for the copying work involved. Information on how to request a quotation is provided below. Please also see our terms and conditions and ordering information for more details.
Our record copying quotation service
Our record copying quotation service can provide you with quotations for copies of complete documents – defined as records in our catalogue - with a full catalogue reference (the department, series and piece number, for example ADM 1/1). If you want a copy of a complete document, please request a quotation, providing the catalogue reference as directed. Please note that if you do not provide the catalogue reference, we will not be able to provide a quotation.
For copies of complete documents we will usually provide a cost based on the average page count of the record series concerned. Please note that your eventual copy order may contain fewer or more pages than given in the quotation. The type of copy process we need to use will also impact on the cost. This will depend on the size and type of document and its condition.
Quotations for parts of documents can also be provided. If your request is for part of a document, you will need to specify your full requirements precisely, provide the catalogue reference and provide the page numbers/ folio numbers or certificate numbers (or equivalent). You should do this using our order form.
What we can’t provide
The record copying quotation service is not a free search or research service. This means that we cannot provide quotations if it would be necessary to search through a document to find specific pieces of information.
We are therefore unable to search:
- within any document for an individual, unless the catalogue description indicates that the file is for that particular person only, e.g. a soldier’s name from a muster roll
- for a date range within any document
- for any details within a date range within any document
- within the WO 97 series (this is available from Findmypast.)
- within the WO 95 series
For information on searching the WO 95 series, and other popular research subjects, see our paid search guides.
See our catalogues and online records page to find out which records are online and how you can search for them.
Please note that Discovery, our catalogue, may provide further descriptions of the content of documents, in addition to the description given at the level of the catalogue reference number. These descriptions are intended to be helpful to users in their research, but they do not necessarily indicate that the content described is available as an individual piece or item, or can be identified without expert knowledge or a lengthy search. Requests for quotations for copies at this level may therefore be declined.
If we are unable to provide a quotation, we will respond to you explaining why. Usually this will be for one of the following reasons:
- Further research would be needed to identify the material requested
- We were unable to locate the material requested within the specified document
- Insufficient information was provided in the request to allow us to identify the material requested
- The number of pages requested would be too large for our non-commercial copying unit to process
- The document area would be of a size greater than A0 (our record copying department is unable to provide photographic reproductions or to copy document areas of a size greater than A0)
- The document requested would be too fragile to copy
If a search or further research is required to identify material to be copied, you can use our separate paid search service, hire an independent researcher or carry out the research yourself. Find out more about your search options.
How to place an order
First we need to provide you with a quotation for the copying work involved. Go to our order form to request an estimate. Please see our terms and conditions and ordering information for more details about estimate requests.
Commercial use of images
If you would like to make commercial use of an image, please contact our image library.
For information on placing a large copying order, please see reprographic services.
Using your own camera at Kew
Cameras may be used to take photographs of some documents. See our digital photography policy (PDF, 28kb).
If you have any queries about ordering copies or about our quotation service, please contact us.
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