Catalogues and online records

You can search for the records you need in a number of different databases. These include records held by The National Archives, our records digitised on our partners' websites, and records held in other archives. Searching is free, but there may be a charge to download documents.

  • Search records held by The National Archives

    • Discovery - our catalogue
      Explore our collections and tag records using our enhanced catalogue. You can also search and download digitised records.
    • Cabinet Papers
      Search or browse a selection of Cabinet papers, 1915-1984.
    • Design Registers
      Visit this online exhibition featuring 300 registered designs of ceramics and other objects, 1864-1871 (BT 43/68).
    • Digital microfilm
      Find information on which microfilm records are now available to download free of charge.
    • Government datasets
      Find out how to locate datasets from The National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) collection, in Discovery, our catalogue.
    • Library Catalogue
      Search the catalogue of The National Archives' reference library.
    • Our online records
      Search some of our online collections, including wills and medal index cards.
    • Taxation records
      Search by place for descriptions of documents relating to medieval and early-modern taxation (E 179).
    • Trafalgar Ancestors database
      Search the records of everyone who served on the British side in the Battle of Trafalgar.
    • UK Government Web Archive
      View historical snapshots of UK government websites.
    • World through a lens
      Explore images from across the globe taken from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office photographic collection (CO 1069), spanning over 100 years of history.
  • Search our records on partner websites

    • Alien arrivals
      Visit ancestry.co.uk to search and download details of foreigners who arrived in England, 1826-1869 (HO 2, HO 3, CUST 102/393-396, FO 83/21-22).
    • Alien entry books
      Visit ancestry.co.uk to browse details of foreigners resident in the UK, 1794-1921 (HO 5).
    • Census records
      Search and download census records from 1841 to 1911 (HO 107, RG 9 - RG 14, RG 78).
    • Crime, prisons and punishment 1770-1934
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to search and download selected crime records 1770-1934 (selected pieces from the following series: ADM 6, CRIM 9, HO 17, HO 140, MEPO 6, PCOM 2)
    • First World War soldiers' records
      Visit ancestry.co.uk to search and download surviving First World War service records (WO 363).
    • First World War soldiers' pension records
      Visit ancestry.co.uk to search and download surviving First World War pension records (WO 364).
    • Maritime births 1867-1960
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to see records of maritime births from the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, the Colonial Office and Customs and Excise.
    • Maritime deaths 1794-1964
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to search records of maritime deaths from the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, the Colonial Office and Customs and Excise.
    • Maritime marriages 1854-1972
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to search records of maritime marriages from the Admiralty and the Board of Trade.
    • Merchant seamen registers 1835-1857
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to search and download details of merchant seamen who served 1835-1857 (BT 112, BT 113, BT 114, BT 115, BT 116, BT 120)
    • Merchant seamen registers 1918-1941
      Visit findmypast.co.uk to search and download details of merchant seamen who served 1918-1941 (BT 348, BT 349, BT 350).
    • Moving Here
      Explore why people came to England over the last 200 years. The site includes National Archives' internment cards and passenger lists, free to search and download.
    • Non-parochial and overseas records
      Visit bmdregisters.co.uk to search and download birth, marriage and death records from non-conformist and other non-parish and overseas sources, 1567-1969 (RG 4 - RG 8, RG 32 - RG 36, BT 158 - BT 160).
    • Passenger lists - incoming
      Search and download lists of ship passengers who arrived in the UK between 1878 and 1960 (BT 26) on ancestry.co.uk.
    • Passenger lists - outgoing
      Search and download lists of ship passengers who left the UK between 1890 and 1960 (BT 27) on findmypast.co.uk.
    • Railway employment records
      Visit ancestry.co.uk to search and download staff records (1883-1963) from a selection of railway companies (RAIL).
    • Royal Hospital Chelsea pension records and Militia records
      Search and download Royal Hospital Chelsea pension records (WO 97, WO 121, WO 122, WO 131), Royal Hospital Kilmainham pension records (WO 119), South African War Imperial Yeomanry records (WO 128) and Militia attestation papers (WO 96).
  • Find records in other archives