Records you can order online
You can order a digital copy of paper records in our collection database.
This service applies to records that are listed on RecordSearch, are paper files, sized A3 or smaller and are available for public access.
We will email you a link to the digital image of each page of the record and a PDF.
Records you cannot order online
You cannot use RecordSearch to order digital copies of the following types of records:
- records larger than A3 size
- boxes of index cards
- audiovisual records
- records in some other formats
If you want to order copies of these records, please contact us.
Ordering a digital copy of a paper record
To order an online copy of a paper record, first search for the record on RecordSearch.
Once you've found it, click the 'request copy' button.
If the record is available to order online, follow the instructions and pay.
If is not available to order online you can either request access or contact us with your request.
Ordering a digital copy of a photograph
You can order high-resolution digital copies of photographic items through RecordSearch. Use the PhotoSearch tab.
Once you find the photograph you want to order, select 'request copy'.
Follow the instructions and pay using our secure payment system.
Receiving your digital copy
We will process your order once we receive payment.
It can take up for 30 business days for:
- paper records that have been cleared for public access
- photographic images including high-resolution and large format material via Secure File Transfer
Records that have not yet been cleared for public access may take up to 90 business days.
We will send an email when your order is ready. We do not directly email images or files.
If you did not give us your email address, you can check RecordSearch 30 business days after we have processed your payment.
You can also check the progress of copying orders.
Paying for digital copies
Our copying charges page shows up-to-date costs for digital copies of paper records, photographs and audio visual (AV) records.
Citing and copyright
If you plan to publish material from the National Archives'collection, it is important that you understand citations and copyright.
Archival records are cited in a different way to books, periodicals and other publications.
Correct citations of archival records will help the National Archives and other researchers find the records you cite.
If records are still in copyright, it is your responsibility to get permission to publish the records.