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?
- £27.30 (incl. VAT) per 15 minutes of research; from 1 April 2017 this will increase to £28.02 (incl. VAT) per 15 minutes of research
- 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
How to request a paid search
- First, check the PDF guides below to see if you can find a pre-priced search which covers your request
- Then, fill in our paid search request form
- Alternatively, write to us at: Advice and Records Knowledge, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU
- Remember to give as much detail as possible about what documents you would like us to search
When will you get a response?
- Within 20 working days of receipt of payment
- The paid search guides cover our most popular paid searches, listing details of the information we will look for and how much we will charge
- From 1 April 2017 our fees increase to £28.02 (incl. VAT) per 15 minutes of research; as such, prices will be different to those currently listed in the guides. For example, a standard charge listed at £81.90 (3 x £27.30 for a 45 minute search) will be charged at £84.06
- To request a pre-priced search, select your required search (for example, ‘House history Search a’) from the drop down list on our paid search request form
House history (PDF, 0.06MB)
Registered designs 1839-1991 (PDF, 0.10MB)
Army personnel and operations
British Army officers 1757-1913 (PDF, 0.05MB)
British Army soldiers 1760-1913 (PDF, 0.08MB)
British Army operations in the Second World War (PDF, 0.05MB)
Royal Navy personnel
Royal Navy ratings 1660-1945 (PDF, 0.10MB)
Royal Navy officers 1660-1945 (PDF, 0.09MB)
Merchant Navy personnel
Merchant Navy officers and seamen 1913-1972 (PDF, 0.07MB)
Merchant Navy seamen 1835-1857 and officers 1835-1913 (PDF, 0.09MB)
Chancel repair liability (PDF, 0.04MB)
Criminals and prisoners (PDF, 0.09MB)
Metropolitan Police (PDF, 0.06MB)
Royal Irish Constabulary (PDF, 0.06MB)
1939 Register: subject still living (DPA enquiry) (PDF, 97 KB)
1939 Register: subject deceased (FOI enquiry) (PDF, 98 KB)