Using the archive


If you are not too far away, a visit to the archive may be more flexible in answering individual needs. Visiting is by appointment, via e-mail, and opening hours are shown at the side, however, special arrangements can be made for other times.

Use of the archive for personal research is free, but a charge of £10 per visit is made for commercial use. Printouts (A4/A3) cost £1 each. We can accept payment by cash, cheque or PayPal.

Owing to the fragility of the collection, all consultation is via the archive trust’s microfilm collection, except for certain periods in the 20th century where editions covering different areas have not been microfilmed. For the period 1929-1955, in particular, the trust possesses microfilm of the substantive ‘Local Edition’, while that held by British Library is the lesser and thinner ‘County Edition’.


If you are unable to visit us, we can search for you. There is a charge of £10.00 per hour, minimum search two hours, with the fee payable in advance.

In the absence of a complete index, we ask enquirers to provide as much information as possible; otherwise an extended search may produce little or nothing and prove expensive. For example, ‘I think my great-grandfather died in 1871’ would be difficult to check, while ‘is there an obituary for John Smith who died in April 1871?’ (inclusion of the actual date would be even better) is much easier to find. The greater the detail provided, the easier and therefore less expensive the search. The preliminary search will also help the trust assess the enquiry and advise if any extra information is needed to proceed. In all cases, we shall do our best to advise on how to make the enquiry as inexpensive as possible; if necessary suggesting that it might not be worthwhile pursuing it on the level of information provided. In such cases we may be able to advise on refining the details of the enquiry.

If we feel that the enquiry holds a good chance of success, we shall ask for the appropriate fee to be forwarded or give a best assessment of what the enquiry might cost, though of course there is still a chance that a search will not turn up anything. However, further investigation will not proceed without the permission of the enquirer.