The National Archives reopens family history records copying service

The service allows researchers to order digital or print copies of family history records while coronavirus restrictions continue

The entrance to The National Archives

The National Archives (TNA) has announced that it’s restarting its record copying service following the coronavirus lockdown.

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The service allows researchers to order a digital or print copy of one of TNA’s records – making more records accessible to family historians who currently can’t visit TNA.

Record copying has been reintroduced on a limited basis. Researchers can only order record copies between 15.30 on Fridays and 23.59 on Sundays to allow record copying staff time to process orders during the week.

Researchers can order a copy of any record that isn’t already digitised, although identifying relevant records relies on them coming from collections that have been name indexed at item level on Discovery, TNA’s online catalogue.

Researchers should find the record on Discovery and follow the instructions to request a copy.

TNA staff will then carry out a non-refundable 15 minute page check, at a cost of £8.40, to find out if the record contains the information required and also how many pages there are in the record so that a price can be calculated.

Researchers should only request a page check if they have a reasonable expectation that the selected document contains the information they require in an easily identifiable format. Those wishing to use the record copying service will have to provide details at item level.

If the enquiry is successful, they can then purchase a copy of the record.

A black and white paper copy costs £1.35 per page; colour paper copies cost £4.95 per page for documents below A3 size and £9.60 for those above; and digital copies cost £1.20 per page for documents below A3 and £8.45 per page for documents above.

The ordering process takes approximately 29 days in total.

The National Archives is open to visitors, but only one-day pre-booked visits are available and visitors can order a maximum number of nine documents to view per day.

Free access to TNA’s digital records collections, which was introduced following the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March, remains in place.

The National Archives’ research service is currently closed.

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TNA run an online live chat service on Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm.