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Records and archives - information and advice
Everyone can enjoy using the records we hold at the County Record Office. This page offers information about our services and some ideas about how the records can be used.
The following services are available at the County Record Office:
There are three ways in which members of the public can conduct research using material held by the County Record Office:
You can find more details of these below.
Searching the catalogue
Summaries of all our holdings are available online. You can use our online catalogue to search more than 4,000 summary descriptions from all our collections and item-level descriptions of selected collections. Searching the catalogue is free.
Please note that our online catalogue will not be available from Wednesday 27 February to Friday 29 February 2013, inclusive, whilst we carry out an upgrade to the database. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
This online access has been made possible through the North Yorkshire's Archives Revealed project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We publish texts and facsimiles of historical documents; lists and descriptions of records we hold; and studies in local history. For a full list of publications, including an order form, see the publications leaflet in the useful downloads section.
The County Record Office has many facilities available for visitors, researchers, educators and others. There is no charge to visit the County Record Office, but you should make an appointment before visiting. Bookings can be made by telephone, e-mail, fax, post or in person. Fees are charged for copies and for our research, records management, conservation and reprographic services.
Please contact the record office to make an appointment to visit.
For more information about the facilities available and guidelines for handing the archive documents, see the frequently asked questions below.
Searches of the records can be carried out by staff in the County Record Office. This costs £38 an hour, with a minimum charge of £19. The fee includes VAT and postage. It covers the time spent on the search, not the results. We cannot guarantee that the information you have requested will be found.
Applying to use the research service
Send your request in writing, specifying your requirements and including payment in advance and your address and contact details. If you are unsure about where to start, please contact the record office for advice.
Make your request as clear and specific as possible, particularly regarding names, dates and places. We are unable to undertake extensive open-ended research. For example, a search could not be undertaken for a "Samuel Metcalfe" who lived somewhere in Yorkshire in the seventeenth century. However, it would be reasonable to begin a search in the parish registers for him and his family, if it were known that he was living in Grinton around 1680. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your research before applying.
We aim to respond to requests within 20 working days. We usually undertake a maximum of two hours' research at one time. More extensive searches may be carried out in instalments.
Once the research is complete, you will receive a letter indicating which sources we checked and what relevant information was found. A limited number of printed copies will be supplied, where appropriate. Copies can also be ordered separately.
Please see the record office fees page for a full price list.
Historic maps online
You can explore a range of interactive historic maps using our online mapping system.
Records and archives - information and advice - frequently asked questions
Records and archives - information and advice - fees
Records and archives - information and advice - research