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If you are new to The National Archives and want some help getting started with your family history or any other kind of research, you’re in the right place.

Follow the links below to find out where and how to start your research, or explore curated highlights from our collection.

The National Archives is home to millions of historical documents, known as records, which were created and collected by UK central government departments and major courts of law.

There are certain records, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, that we do not hold. Find the best places to look for them.

Many of our most popular records are available online.

Not all of our records are available to view online but you can search for brief descriptions of them in Discovery, our catalogue.

Archives are collections of information – known as records.

Find out what it’s like in an archive, and how to prepare for your visit.