Ordering documents in advance or in bulk

Order documents online before you visit to save time when you arrive.

To advance order documents, you must hold a valid reader’s ticket or have registered online for one.

You can order up to 12 documents in advance of your visit to The National Archives using the online order form.

How far in advance should I place my order?

The amount of time it takes for a document to arrive can vary depending on whether your document is stored on site or off site. You can check which documents are stored off site via Discovery, our catalogue.

If your documents are stored on site, you must place your order before 16:00 on the working day before your visit. Orders placed before 16:00 will be ready to view from 09:00 on the day of your visit.

The National Archives’ is open from Tuesday to Saturday – you might also want to check our closure dates.

If your documents are stored off site at our Deepstore storage facility in Cheshire, you must place your order before 11:00 three working days before your visit. If ordered after 11:00, documents take three to five working days to arrive.

Can I order more than 12 documents in advance of my visit?

If the documents you intend to order are all from the same department and series (for example, if all your documents are from FO 371), you can order a larger number of documents using the bulk order form. This requires a minimum order of 15 documents.

We strongly advise that you place your bulk order as far ahead of your intended visit as possible. We can only accommodate a limited number of bulk orders per day and these are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Orders submitted without sufficient notice will not be produced.

If your documents are stored on site, you must place your order two working days before your visit.

If your documents are stored off site, you must place your order before 11:00 three working days before your visit. If ordered after 11:00, documents take three to five working days to arrive.

Only one bulk order can be requested at a time. Subsequent bulk orders cannot be viewed until the preceding order has been returned.