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Paying for research

If you don't want to, or cannot carry out research yourself, you can pay somebody else to do it for you:

The paid search service

The National Archives paid search service: for specific documents held by The National Archives

Searches for specific documents will be done in a prompt and professional manner. Our charge is based on £15* per 15 minutes. Please contact us for the full cost of your particular search before sending any money.

*this charge will be adjusted in line with the recent reduction in VAT. Go to more information on the Paid Search Service


Independent researchers

Independent researchers: for specific documents or wider-ranging research

There are many independent specialist researchers who know the holdings of The National Archives and other archives. You can hire them to carry out research for you. They may charge significantly less than our own 'full cost recovery' paid search service.
Go to more information on the Paid Search Service


Do it yourself

What it costs to do your own research

It is free to visit The National Archives and to view original documents. We do make charges for photocopies, print-outs and copies made onto other media such as CD-ROMs. Here is a price list for copy charges.

It also costs time and effort!

If you want to try and do your own research, our Getting started section is the place to begin.