Paying for research

We encourage you to visit The National Archives, where you can do your research and view documents free of charge, whether they are online documents or not online. If you want to pay someone to carry out the research on your behalf instead, you can use an independent researcher or our own paid search service.

Independent researchers are not employees of The National Archives and any arrangements made are a private matter between you and the researcher. The fees they charge vary greatly but are often less than our own charges which are fixed at rates set out by the Fees Regulations under the Public Records Act (1958).

Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, you have the right to see information held by us unless one of the exemptions set out in the FOI Act applies – find out more about Freedom of Information.