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Order documents in advance of your visit
 
Record archive

Record archive

Gypsy man weaving basket. Cat ref: COPY 1/380Order documents in advance of your visit

We regret that we have had to temporarily withdraw the facility for visitors to order original documents in advance of their visit to Kew. This will apply from Friday 30 November 2007 until the end of March 2008. This page explains why we are doing this and some of the temporary procedures now in place.

Advance ordering temporarily suspended 30 November 2007 to 31 March 2008

We regret that there will be significantly reduced seating capacity in the document reading rooms from 17 December 2007 until the end of the current improvement programme. Any visitors wishing to look at original documents in the reading rooms will be admitted on a first come, first served basis during this period.

We have temporarily altered a number of our procedures at Kew to ensure that we can accommodate as many visitors as possible in the reading rooms each day. As a result of this, we unfortunately have to withdraw the facility for visitors to order original documents in advance of their visit to Kew. This will apply from Friday 30 November 2007 until the end of March 2008.

We will consider advance document orders for visitors with special circumstances. Read more about these procedures below.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that these temporary changes may cause you.

Procedures for requesting advance document orders for visitors with special circumstances

Please note that we can only consider requests from visitors who already hold a valid reader’s ticket.

If you would like to submit a request for an advance document order in special circumstances, you may do so by email or post. Telephone ordering will not be available. All advance order requests will be considered on their own merit.

Your request must contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your reader's ticket number
  • A daytime telephone contact number
  • The proposed date of your visit
  • A maximum of three preferred document references
  • A maximum of three alternative document references (should your preferred choices not be available)
  • A statement describing your special circumstances.

Submitting an email request

Please email your request to: advanceddocumentorder@nationalarchives.gov.uk

You must send requests by email at least five working days before your intended visit. We will then consider them and respond within three working days of receipt.

Submitting a postal request

Please send your request to the following address:

Advance Document Ordering (Special Circumstances)
Document Services Department
The National Archives
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

All postal requests must arrive at least five working days in advance of your intended visit. Please take into consideration posting times when sending us your request. We will then consider them and respond within three working days of receipt.

Ordering documents stored off-site

Some documents are kept at a separate storage facility in Cheshire www.deepstore.comExternal website - link opens in a new window. You can check this in the Catalogue. If the Catalogue shows that the documents you are ordering are stored off-site then please send an email to: advanceddocumentorder@nationalarchives.gov.uk with "off-site document order" in the subject line. You can also order by post to the following address:

Off-site Document Ordering
Document Services Department
The National Archives
Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Your order must include the following:

  • Your name
  • Your reader's ticket number
  • A daytime telephone contact number
  • The proposed date of your visit
  • The references of the documents required

Please note that orders for documents stored off site take a minimum of three working days to arrive at The National Archives at Kew.

Ordering documents stored off site does not guarantee that a seat will be available for you on arrival.

Bulk document orders

If you intend to order a large number of documents from the same department and series (for instance, all documents with a catalogue reference of FO 371) you can still order in advance online using the bulk order form.

Please allow at least two working days notice for a bulk order. You will not be able to keep a bulk order for more than two days and can only make one such order at a time.

Please note - this service is only available to readers with a current reader's ticket and the service is subject to availability. There is no bulk order service for Saturdays.

If your bulk order is approved, you will be allocated a seat to view your order. However, you will be unable to request additional documents using this seat. If you wish to order documents in addition to your bulk order, you must select a seat in the Reading rooms after you have finished viewing your original order.

Alternative research methods

There are alternative ways of accessing documents held at The National Archives that you may prefer to use whilst the improvement work is underway.

  • Many of the most popular records available at The National Archives have been digitised and are available online for a small fee
  • Our record copying services allow paper or digital copies of documents to be sent to you for a fee
  • There are a number of ways in which you can pay to have research conducted on your behalf at The National Archives