Your feedback and our response

We welcome your feedback as it helps us to improve what we do and continue to deliver high quality services in line with the Customer Service Excellence standard. You can contact us directly with your feedback.

Comments and requests updated January 2021

What you said What we have done
The complainant was concerned that we had not made any changes to our digital services when we made the decision to close the building during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular paying for downloads. Our Executive team reviewed the situation and decided to offer free downloads of records on our website from 24 April 2020. Registered users are able to order and download up to 10 items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days (this was increased to 100 items in December 2020). The limits are there to try to help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.
The complainant was concerned that they were not permitted to take their own paper and pencils into the Reading Rooms when we re-opened following the COVID-19 closure. All of our rules regarding the re-opening are under constant review. We decided that we would provide a single sheet of A4 paper and a pencil to those who need it. In December we received further comment and lined paper was made available.
The complainant was concerned that the Map and Large Document Reading Room remained closed when the building re-opened in July 2020. All of our rules regarding the re-opening are under constant review. A decision was made for the Map and Large Document Reading Room to partially re-open in August 2020 and the number of available seats was expanded further on 8 December.


Here are some examples of compliments, which we receive in a number of ways, including email, feedback form and letter, to telephone calls, social media and in person.

Date received How received Summary of compliments
4 January 2021 Email Can I say that in the weeks of relative freedom between September and November I made a number of visits to The National Archives and I’ve nothing but admiration for the positive and helpful attitude of everyone involved there. I’m so grateful that so many people went to so much effort to make it possible for us to get back in there again.
4 January 2021 Email Please, please don’t stop your amazing jigsaws! They have kept me going during long and lonely days during lockdown and tier 4 isolation. Christmas edition was great with not 1 but 3 puzzles. Well done but more pretty please.
1 January 2021 Email I would like to convey my very great satisfaction with the exceptional service provided by The National Archives. On the evening of 30 December I ordered a digital image and it arrived in my inbox by 1.00 p.m. the following day. In the meantime I was provided with some very helpful advice and guidance.  Thank you and best wishes for a very Happy New Year.


Here are some examples of complaints, which we receive in a number of ways, including email, feedback form and letter, to telephone calls, social media and in person. Have a look at our Transparency page if you want to know more about complaints.

Summary of complaint and date received Background information Action taken
The complainant was disappointed with the quality of the audio during one of the webinars. They also raised concerns regarding the post-talk survey including the wording of questions and lack of a comments box at the end of it. We have been holding regular webinars during the building closure (COVID-19). We apologised for the audio issues and explained that a high-quality recording of the webinar will be available via our Archives Media Player. We passed the complainants comments regarding the survey to our Customer Insight team, who corrected the issues, which were system quirks we had not identified. We thanked the complainant for taking the time to notify us of the issues they had identified.
The complainant expressed concerns about our booking system and how hard it is to secure a slot. In July 2020, we re-opened our building to a limited number of weekly pre-booked visitors. In November, we suspended the on-site service in line with the new national restrictions. While the service was suspended, we fully reviewed the processes and made changes ready for 8 December when the service resumed. We explained to the complainant that we are operating on a reduced service due to COVID-19, and that we are reviewing the booking processes. We explained that as of 8 December, we are increasing capacity in the Reading Rooms, allowing more documents per visitor and a greater choice of bookable dates, including Saturdays.
The complainant was unhappy that we would not supply lined paper in the Reading Rooms. We currently only allow the use of paper that we supply in the Reading Rooms due to COVID-19 restrictions. We met with the complainant and they explained that using plain paper presented a challenge and why. Lined paper was provided and the visitor was content with the outcome.

External feedback

Below is a selection of external feedback sites where users can leave independent feedback about our services:
The National Archives on Trip Advisor
Google Reviews