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Public Records: Access

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements are in place for those without internet facilities to gain access to records held in the Public Record Office. (242761)

Public records that have been transferred to The National Archives, the Government's official archive, are available to view free of charge in its reading rooms at Kew. Access to original records is available to members of the public after providing two acceptable forms of identification and readers are able to view original records within 35 minutes. Access to surrogate records, including microform, is also free and does not require a reader's ticket.

The National Archives has recently undertaken an extensive programme of work to improve and expand its facilities. It now offers a programme of talks from records specialists and more advice surgeries for individual researchers.

For members of the public who cannot visit Kew, The National Archives offers a priced research service to undertake a search for specific documents on their behalf. It can also provide a list of independent researchers who have an in-depth knowledge of its collections to undertake research on their behalf.