Become a licensing partner

We welcome new partners to increase dissemination of and access to government records. Although there are no specific requirements to becoming a National Archives Licensing Partner, typically you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Experience of managing large-scale digitisation projects of heritage material
  • Experience of online publication of heritage material, particularly in Academic or Family History markets
  • Viable commercial models that return an income stream to licensors

If you or your company are interested in entering into a licensing partnership with The National Archives, please contact the Licensing team by telephone on +44 (0)20 3908 9161 or by email.

Licence exceptions

We will grant appropriate licences wherever possible. However please note that we may refuse a licence in certain circumstances, including the following:

  • If your request to reproduce The National Archives’ material falls outside our standard non-exclusive licensing terms and conditions. If we reject your application we will explain why, try to offer another solution, and work with you to revise your application.
  • If certain content is protected by the intellectual property rights of a third party and that party has not given you their permission.
  • If you have previously copied Crown copyright material without permission and this matter remains unresolved; or do not have enough creditworthiness (according to our checks with credit reference agencies) to pay any licence fees and are not willing to offer another method of payment (for example, a bank guarantee, payment in advance etc).
  • If we consider the use of our material to be inappropriate. For example: where the intended use of The National Archives’ material is likely to bring The National Archives into disrepute; or is deemed to infringe acceptable standards of taste and decency; or is not in keeping with (or misrepresents) the integrity of the original material.
  • If you have acquired The National Archives’ material through an illegitimate source. For example, pirate copies that infringe our or third party copyright.
  • If you intend to reproduce material that concerns public security, defence, state security (including national economic well-being), confidential information, legal proceedings.

We do not enter into exclusive licensing arrangements with partners.


If you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your application for a licence, please contact

If you are still dissatisfied, our Complaints procedure gives further information about complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.