Our paid search service

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.

Our paid search service is prompt and professional and reflects our expertise in historical records.

Can you do the search yourself?

  • Take a look at our research guides for advice on what records we hold and how you can search for them
  • You can search Discovery, our online catalogue, for records
  • Catalogue descriptions indicate whether you can download a copy or, if unavailable online, how you can order paper or digital copies

What can we search for?

  • Details of people, places and subjects within our records
  • Digitised versions of our records on commercial websites like Ancestry and Findmypast – it is often more cost effective to subscribe to the websites and do the searching yourself (consult our online collections page to see which records have been digitised)

How much does a paid search cost?

  • £116.88 (incl. VAT) per hour (minimum charge £29.22)
  • You will receive a quote for the cost once our researchers have assessed your request and before you commit to the paid search itself
  • The prices we charge are set out by the Fees Regulations under the Public Records Act (1958) and are based on recovering the costs of providing the services
  • Alternatively, you can use an independent researcher who may offer more competitive rates

Remember to give as much detail as possible about what documents you would like us to search.

Request a paid search

Alternatively, write to us at: Collections Expertise and Engagement, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU.

When will you get a response?

  • Within 20 working days of receipt of payment