Our services

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If you are visiting us

If you are coming to visit the Archives and Local History Service you can take digital images of our collections on our archival book scanners, microfilm readers or your digital camera. Just bring a USB stick with you.

If you want to get started with Family History, you can pre-book a free appointment with our volunteer Family History Buddies, or you can take advantage of a free ‘Getting started with’ Ancestry or Find My Past session where we can show you the basics of using their websites. More advanced sessions are also on offer and can be pre-booked ahead of your visit. Please contact us for further details. There is a charge for this service, and you can find more information on our fees and charges page.

If you can’t visit us in person

If you can’t travel to the Archives and Local History Service we can still help you.  If you are looking for something specific (e.g. to confirm details you already know) we offer a free ‘look-up’ service.

It’s best to email us with your request, but you can also send a letter, give us a call or send a quick question via Twitter. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 15 working days.

If you enquire via email,  you will receive an acknowledgement with an enquiry number, which you should quote in any future messages.  If we are unable to complete your enquiry within 15 days, we will contact you to update you on its progress.

Further research

We now offer a paid research service. This is charged at £15 per half hour (maximum time half an hour). Please email us for further information on this service and for a copy of our Paid Research enquiry form, or ask when you next visit.

For more extensive enquiries we can send you a list of local independent researchers who can look at our records on your behalf for a fee. They are not affiliated with our service and you should approach them directly for terms and fees.

Digital copies

We can provide you with digital copies of items, including our microfilm collections, by email. You can use them for private study, research or commercial publications, but please be precise in your request (including, for example, the newspaper title and date of publication required). There is a fee for this service. See our fees and charges page for details.

Other services

We offer a range of other services, including an English transcription service, archival consultancy, training workshops, tours of the archive, talks and certified copies of documents. You can find more information about these services on our fees and charges page, or please contact us for further details.