As a government department, we are obliged to charge for some of our public services, including research and record copying.

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.

As of 1 February 2016, our charges will change in some instances. This follows a review of the costs to provide these services, in line with The Public Records Act.

Summary of prices, in effect from 1 April 2014 (PDF, 0.03Mb)

Summary of prices, in effect from 1 February 2016 (PDF, 0.07MB)

Charging for digitised copies of paper records

Digitising paper records is costly, and normally involves additional cataloguing and transcription work to ensure that the records are searchable. When we decide to digitise a collection of records, we either work with commercial and academic publishing partners or we do the work ourselves and make digital copies available to download from our website through Discovery.

Digitised records on our website are always free to search but a charge of £3.45 per download generally applies to view the full transcription or download digital copies.

Where digitised records are available to download free of charge, it will usually be for one of the following reasons:

  • the digitisation was funded by a non-commercial partner (for example, conscription appeals)
  • they are newly released files which are digitised and made available free for a month (for example, annual file releases)
  • the digitised records were captured in bulk from microfilm in a way which means that they are available for researchers to browse but are not searchable without further detailed cataloguing. We have also digitised a number of finding aids, which are available free of charge

Viewing and ordering

Why are some records only available through commercial companies?

We have over 167 kilometres of shelving of records. Digitising records and making them available online is an enormous task. We therefore work with partners to make more records accessible by participating in the commercial digitisation of genealogical and other records. Find out more about licensing.

Can I order copies of records?

The record copying service provides copies of all material held by The National Archives. With state of the art digital scanning equipment, we can produce paper copies of records, as well as in a range of electronic formats.