We provide online copies of paper records, which consist of an image of each page of the record and a searchable PDF, made available through our collection database, RecordSearch.
This service applies to paper files in the National Archives’ collection of A3 size and smaller that are available for public access and listed on RecordSearch.
Records larger than A3, boxes of cards, microfiche, audiovisual records and records in some other formats are not included in this service.
You can identify and order a copy of a file through RecordSearch. On the Item details screen, select 'Request copy' and follow the instructions to pay for your order using our secure payment facility. We will use your email address to confirm your order. Please check that your financial institution has processed your payment as your order will not proceed without it.
An image of each page of the record and a searchable PDF will made available through our collection database, RecordSearch, on the National Archives’ website. We will notify you by email when the online copy is available and provide a link to the item in RecordSearch. We do not email the images and PDF to you directly.
Your order cannot proceed without a successful payment. Once payment has been processed by your financial institution we aim to provide you access:
If you have not provided an email address, please check the item on RecordSearch approximately 30 business days after your payment has been processed by your financial institution. You can also check the progress of copying orders.
High-resolution digital copies of photographic items can be ordered through PhotoSearch, which can be accessed by selecting the PhotoSearch tab in RecordSearch. Select the photograph you wish to order and then select 'Request copy'. Follow the instructions to pay for your order using our secure payment facility.
If you wish to order a copy of a photograph that does not appear on PhotoSearch, please complete our Photographic Imaging Order Form.
When an order for a digital copy of a photographic image is completed, we will notify you by email. The notification email will contain a link to download the digital copy via Secure File Transfer (SFT). This service does not apply to an order for a copy of a paper record.
Please refer to our fact sheet on copying charges.
Please cite archival records correctly as that will help us and other researchers to locate the record you have cited.
If you plan to publish material from the National Archives’ collection it is your responsibility to determine copyright ownership and to obtain permission if records remain in copyright. Please refer to our fact sheet on copyright.