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 April 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 in March 2020 due to 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. Since December registered users are able to order and download up to 10 items at a time, to a maximum of 100 items over 30 days. 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 2020.


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
20 March 2021 Email During these difficult days of lockdowns due to Covid 19 I would like to say that the jigsaw puzzles which you have sent to me have been a real boon as I am having to shield and they have kept me occupied. I send you all my heartfelt thanks.
20 March 2021 Email I would like to say a big thank you to the National Archives for providing digital downloads for free during lockdown. I am on a tight budget at the moment and would not have downloaded so many wills and found out so much about my family history. It has made lockdown so much more bearable so it is most appreciated. I always prefer the downloads from the NA website anyway as the quality is so much better. Thanks again.
22 January 2021 Email Have just been watching the superb talk about Emma Hamilton – very informative, well illustrated and it was obvious the speaker was passionate about the subject. More of the same please particularly needed to get us through lockdown.


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 since the start of the pandemic (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