Most items can't be viewed online, but each item has a unique reference number so you can visit us in person to view the original records free of charge. Or you can request a quote for research, or for obtaining a copy.
Search the record office catalogue
Access to closed records
There are some records that may not be available to view or to order copies of.
Often this is because they contain information about living people and this personal information can only be released to the person it relates to, or to someone who is appropriately authorised. Examples of appropriate authorisation would be: the permission of that person, parental authority, or power of attorney. We would need to see evidence of this authority before releasing the information.
If the information you seek refers to a person who has died, we can also release this information if you can provide proof of their death.
If you're viewing non-personal information in records which also contain information about living people, or if you wish to view personal information for statistical purposes and in doing so anonymise the personal information, you can sign an undertaking not to record or use any personal data before viewing the records.
For more information please see our data subjects in archives privacy notice.
Occasionally, some items are in very poor condition and cannot be used until they have been repaired. We may be able to make digital copies for you to view until the original item is fit for use. Please contact us for further information.
I can't find what I'm looking for
Archives are arranged into collections according to which person or organisation created them. Within each collection, the descriptions are arranged into categories and sub-categories, usually by the type of record, such as minutes, admission registers, or photographs.
The catalogue describes the records we hold not their contents. For example, if you want a map showing your house, you won't be able to search for your house, street or postcode, because the map will probably cover the whole town. The best way to search is to look for the type of record that will contain the information you want, or the organisation that created the record, rather than to search for the information itself.
Our research guides provide advice to help you navigate the different archives and local studies collections and they include videos about how to use the catalogue.