Record office collections and services

Details of our collections and services, including copying, records, and conservation, and our family and local history research service.

Do it online

You can search our catalogue of the records we hold online.

Visit the record office catalogue

Buy copies of historic maps and photographs, order research and much more.

Visit the record office online shop


We collect, preserve and makes accessible historic and current records of significance for the study of North Yorkshire and its people and hold them in trust for the use of present and future generations.

The archives we hold date from the 12th century to the present day and cover over five miles of shelving. Most of these collections can be freely consulted in our public searchroom. Find out more about visiting the record office here.

Most of our parish register holdings, and some of our school admission registers, can be consulted through Findmypast. Findmypast can be accessed at no cost in any North Yorkshire library.

Collections in our custody include:

  • records of the North Riding of Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire County Council;
  • records of the boroughs of Harrogate, Richmond, Ripon and Scarborough;
  • records of over 40 different urban and rural district councils established under the 1894 Local Government Act;
  • parish records from almost 300 separate parishes;
  • court records including those of the North Riding of Yorkshire Quarter Sessions dating from the sixteenth century onwards;
  • records from many of North Yorkshire's landed estates and prominent families;
  • records of 24 different Poor Law Unions;
  • the North Riding Registry of Deeds spanning the years 1736 to 1970 and containing over a million entries; and
  • historic maps and plans of North Yorkshire including over 350 parish tithe maps, enclosure maps, mine plans, railway plans and architect's drawings.

Search our online catalogue to view collection-level descriptions of our archival holdings.

Please note that we do not hold birth, marriage or death certificates. These are held by certificate services in Harrogate. For more information, including how to order certificates, see the copy certificates page.

In-house research service

If you are not able to visit the office, our in-house research service can help you to explore family, local and community history.

Our experienced staff can undertake research using our full range of records including parish and non-conformist registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, electoral registers, tithe maps and many other sources.

It is important that your research request is as clear and specific as possible, particularly regarding names, dates and places. A search could not be undertaken, for example for a Samuel Metcalfe who lived somewhere in Yorkshire in the 17th century, but 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.

Our researchers will carry out a minimum of half an hour's research but you may request a longer time by increasing by half hour periods up to an initial maximum of two hours. If you are unsure about where to start, please contact us for advice.

Research service costs

The cost is £38 an hour, including VAT and postage, with a minimum charge of £19.

Order research through our online shop

Alternatively, you can send your request in writing, specifying your requirements and including payment in advance and your address and contact details.

Copying, records management and conservation

If you are unable to visit the office then we can, in many instances, provide digital or paper copies from the records in our collections. Please contact us if you have any questions relating to our copying service.

Copies of many of our maps and historic photographs can be purchased through our online shop.

Order historic maps through our online shop

Order historic photographs through our online shop

Certified copies

Certified copies can be supplied where required. A certified typescript can be supplied when it is not possible to produce a copy by other means.

Commercial and large scale contracts

We have many years' experience in carrying out large scale scanning projects for external organisations. Previous clients have included art galleries, museums and commercial firms. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Copies can be made of most of the documents we hold and the fees for this are shown on this page.

However, factors such as the condition of the original item or restrictions on copyright mean that we are not able to provide copies of some documents.

Single copies are provided on the understanding that they are for personal use only. If copies are to be reproduced or published in any form permission should be applied for in writing and a fee may apply.

Printouts from microfilm or microfiche

Two self-service reader / printer machines are available in the searchroom for making A4 printout copies of records on microfilm. Copies are £1 each for an A4 sheet and £1.50 for an A3 sheet.

Alternatively, copies can be made to order by staff. The following charges apply for this:

  • Handling charge per hour - £13
  • Minimum handling charge - £6.50
  • A4 sheet - £1
  • A3 sheet - £1.50

Book scanner

Our book scanner provides a self-service facility for researchers to take images of original records and save them directly to a USB stick. There is a charge of £1 per image. If you require seven images or more, we also offer the rate of £6.50 per half hour of scanning time.

Images can only be saved to a USB stick. If you do not have your own USB stick, we can sell one to you for £6.50.

Please check with staff before using the scanner. Some records may not be suitable for scanning and the North Riding Registry of Deeds is not available for copying on the book scanner.

Photocopies

Charges apply as for microfilm printouts. Photocopies will not normally be made of original records.

Colour scanning (excluding maps and plans)

  • Scanning (up to A0 size) - £5 per scan
     
  • A4 colour laser print - £2.55
  • A3 colour laser print - £3.10
  • A2 colour inkjet print - £12.50
  • A1 colour inkjet print - £22.50
  • A0 colour inkjet print - £40
     
  • Electronic copy - £15

Maps and plans (per map)

  • A4 print - £7.55
  • A3 print - £8.10
  • A2 print - £17.50
  • A1 print - £27.50
  • A0 print - £45
     
  • Electronic copy £15

Registry of deeds

  • Price per registered document - £80

Microfilm

  • 16mm diazo negative per reel or part thereof - £95
  • 35mm diazo negative per reel or part thereof - £95

Personal digital photography

  • Per day or part thereof - £20
  • Per week (two to five days) - £45

(excludes North Riding Registry of Deeds, original parish registers and parish register transcripts)

Certified copies

  • Certified copy - £20 (flat rate), plus the cost of a copy
  • Certified typescript - £38 (supplied only when it is not possible to produce a copy by other means)

Parish register transcripts

We do not produce photocopies from the parish register transcripts produced by this office. Where computer indexes have been completed, printouts for a single surname are available. Printed copies can be made from these indexes for the following fees:

  • All entries for one surname for one parish - £50
  • All entries for one surname for any one consolidated group of parishes - £100

Copies of complete indexes or registers are not available to buy.

Searches in parish registers which have not yet been transcribed and indexed can be made in accordance with our usual search fees.

UK postage and packing

Postage and packing costs by the county record office are as follows:

  • up to 18  x A4 sheets - £1.10
  • between 19 and 40 x A4 sheets - £1.45 
  • up to 9 x A3 sheets - £1.10
  • between 10 and 20 x A3 sheets - £1.45
  • for a CD or DVD - £1.10
  • small postal tube (A4 & A3) - £4.70 (tube only, without postage - £1.45)
  • medium postal tube (A2) - £4.95 (tube only, without postage - £1.70)
  • large postal tube (A1 & A0) - £5.05 (tube only, without postage - £1.80)

Please contact the record office for overseas postage costs or to discuss any aspect of these fees.

Commercial reproduction fees

An additional fee of £120 per item is chargeable for commercial purposes such as publication in books. Additional charges may apply and permission should be applied for in writing.

Care for all of our collections is under the direction of a specialist conservator in conditions consistent with the agreed standard for the storage of archival collections PD 5454:2012.

Our conservation section is responsible for the care of millions of documents which come in various formats and materials.

Preservation and conservation are the core functions of this department, ensuring the survival of North Yorkshire's documentary heritage for future generations.

Preservation

Through advocating good handling techniques and storage of documents in archival grade packaging we aim to prevent damage and preserve items for the long term and to allow safe access.

Conservation

Conservation is the physical repair of documents that have become damaged. Practising minimal conservation allows us to retain as much of the original document as possible whilst ensuring that long-term stability and accessibility are maintained.

Environmental monitoring

The five repositories at the record office, which contain six miles of shelving, are environmentally controlled to prevent the deterioration of paper and parchment documents. The conservation section monitors the environment checking temperature, relative humidity and for infestations.

Exhibitions

Conservation are responsible for exhibiting documents from our collections; we have two or three exhibitions each year in the record office foyer. Items are also prepared and mounted for temporary exhibition outside of the record office. You can view current and past exhibitions here.

Enquiries

We are happy to answer enquiries from members of the public and offer advice on storage and conservation requirements. We also carry out conservation work for external clients.

As well as caring for North Yorkshire's historic archives, the county record office provides records management services to North Yorkshire County Council. Records management is about applying systems of governance to the creation, use, maintenance and disposal of documents and records.

The council processes an ever increasing volume of information in paper and electronic formats. In order to fulfill our statutory obligations and provide effective services to our customers and partners, we manage the information so that it is available to those who need it when they need it, is reliable and accurate and is disposed of when no longer required.

The records centre staff at the record office handle the transfer, retrieval and disposal of corporate documents and records for all the council. We store in excess of 27,000 boxes with managed access that would otherwise be cluttering prime office space. We retrieve close to 200 files per month and distribute to all locations in North Yorkshire. Every file that arrives at the records centre is assigned an action date for disposal. We destroy the equivalent of one standard four drawer filing cabinet full of paper per day, every day.