This is a guide to looking for records of the Crimean War at The National Archives. The war took place between 1853 and 1856 and involved an alliance between the British, French and Ottoman Empires with the Kingdom of Sardinia against Russia.
This is not a guide to records of individual service but rather to operational and policy records.
What do I need to know before I start?
Crimean War records tend to be complicated, involving information from different departments. A decision could have been taken by the Foreign Office (FO), discussed by commanders in the area and carried out by the Army (WO) and Navy (ADM).
There are no significant collections of records on the Crimean War available online.
Records available only at The National Archives in Kew
To access these records you will either need to visit us, pay for research (£) or, where you can identify a specific record reference, order a copy (£).
War Office: commanders’ dispatches (1854–56)
Browse Discovery, our catalogue, for commanders’ dispatches from Crimea during the war from WO 1/368 to WO 1/384. These are arranged chronologically.
Foreign Office general correspondence: France, Russia and Ottoman Empire (1781–1905)
Browse our catalogue for general correspondence relating to the French, Russian and Ottoman Empires before 1906 in FO 27, FO 65 and FO 78 respectively. You will need to use the registers and indexes in FO 605 to access these series.
Records in other archives and organisations
Records held elsewhere
The National Archives’ catalogue contains collections and contact details of local archives around the UK and beyond. To locate these records, search our catalogue with keywords and refine your results to ‘Other archives’ using the filters.
Search Hansard for Parliamentary debates on the Crimean War.
Explore The National Archives’ British Battles online exhibition on The Crimean War for an interactive history of the conflict.
Search The Times Archive and the Guardian and Observer Digital Archive to view articles (£) about the Crimean War.
Read ‘The Crimean War, British Grand Strategy Against Russia, 1853–1856′ by Andrew D Lambert (Manchester University Press Manchester, 1991).