The National Archives

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The UK National Archives (formerly The Public Records Office) collection of records is vast, so please visit their website, where the archive can be searched. Records useful from a genealogical perspective include census records, military papers, passenger lists and wills amongst many other categories.

The National Archives do not hold births, deaths and marriages civil registration information, these are at the General Register Office, but the indexes can be consulted at TNA. The Family Records Centre has now closed and its services have transferred to TNA.

The National Archives was home to the London FamilySearch Centre for a period until late March 2019 but this arrangement has now ceased. However, the National Archives has become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, see Family Search Centres for more details.

Searching the records

  • The National Archives can be searched from the main page.
  • Also useful is the catalogue search facility, Discovery, for descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the UK.

Remote Access to Records

Visiting the Archives

  • Please check TNA's "Visit Us" webpage for further information, including Do I need a reader’s ticket?. The procedure also includes completing a short online document handling information tutorial, with test questions, similar to the information in "Handling documents". Some of the more popular records are available on microfilm in the reading rooms (Read the description of the records you are interested in to find out whether this applies). Readers' tickets are only required if you want to look at original documents.
    Car parking charges have now been introduced, see "Visit us"/"Opening times", scroll down to Car Park/"Find out more" for details. ‘Blue Badge’ holders will continue to be able to park without charge, in designated parking bays.
  • Some documents may be photographed – see "Visit us"/"What’s on"/"While you’re here"/"Guidance for visitors", scroll to "What to bring into the reading rooms". For better photographic images, a researcher recommended selecting a table by the windows, for the light provided – these tables also contain camera stands.[1].
Note that as from 11 December 2017, camera stations are now no longer provided, and self service printing facilities are no longer provided.[2] However, these were the camera stations provided by TNA, and the large quantity of camera stands (DIY document copying) in the reading rooms are still available.[3]
  • Reference to the online short Video Guides may help in preparation for a visit to the Archives - subjects include using the catalogue and indexes, records held and arrangement of records.

FIBIS Resources

The Fibis Research team can visit The National Archives to obtain copies or details of information held for Fibis Members unable to access the records there. To enquire about this service please email [email protected]

Paying for research

  • The National Archives guide Paying for research includes a list of independent researchers.
    • Some researchers will provide a photography only service if a record catalogue reference is know. Forums such as WW2Talk Forum may be a source of information.

External Links


  1. Mike L. National Archives - Kew Tips? WW2Talk Forum 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  2. Richelieu. National Archives - Kew Tips? WW2Talk Forum 20 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  3. PsyWar.Org. [Lee Richards,] National Archives - Kew Tips? WW2Talk Forum 21 October 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.