What do the Enquiry and Research Services Offer?
Enquiry Service - free of charge up to 30 minutes of staff time
- Includes enquiries relating to the use of the Archives Service and basic information about the archival collections
Research Service - fee applies
- includes all requests to look up information in online sources and archival documents.
- For shorter research requests (up to 1 hour), an informal response, usually by email, will be provided by the Searchroom team.
- For more complex research requests requiring an hour or more of staff time, you will receive a research report from our researcher.
Searches can be carried out for family, local and house history in the archival sources held at Nottinghamshire Archives, including parish registers, census returns, wills and other records.
If you want to trace your family history, but do not feel very confident using the wide array of internet resources, the Research Service can help.
Our experienced team can make the best use of both online and archival resources to find the information you need.
Using the Research Service
To commission research, you will need to download and complete the Services Guidance and Order Form:
- Research Order Form - Non-Commercial
- Research Order Form - Commercial
- For advice on requesting research, please see the Research Services charges and guidance which includes limitations of the service.
More information on Restricted Access records can be found on our Restricted Access Records.
Please sign the copyright declaration so copies can be supplied where appropriate. Payment must be received in advance.
Please provide any relevant information, including sources already searched. For genealogical enquiries, copies of any relevant census returns and / or certificates are useful. For house history enquiries, a map showing the exact location of the property is essential.
We advise you to contact us to confirm Nottinghamshire Archives holds the records which you are interested in before requesting a search.
More complex research orders will be carried out in the order in which they are received. If your request will not be processed within three weeks, a letter or email of acknowledgement will be sent to you, with an indication of how long it may take to receive your research report. We reserve the right not to undertake a search if the information supplied is insufficient or for any other reason, but if this is the case, you will be informed, and your payment returned.
Charges will still apply even if the result is minimal or negative as a search has been undertaken.
Limitations - Records may be missing, damaged or difficult to read. Whilst every effort will be made to carry our research accurately, Nottinghamshire Archives cannot be held responsible for any inadvertent errors or omissions
Receiving the Results of the Research
The results of longer research requests (an hour or more) will be sent to you in the form of a formal report. Copies may be provided if this is the most efficient method of presenting the information. The copyright declaration on the order form must be signed when placing the order to allow for this option. Where possible, our researcher will advise you of any further avenues of research, either at the Archives or elsewhere.
Please see our Enquiry and Research Services Cost Guidance and our fees and charges list for details of the scale of charges. We charge for staff time (15 minutes up to 3 hours) to conduct research of any kind, from a single look up of a name using an online resource to more complex research requests in archival sources.
Research fees are payable in advance (max 3 hours per order). The fee includes all work involved in planning and carrying out the research including response / report writing. It is therefore in your interest to be as precise as possible.
Orders for more extensive research can be accepted. They will be carried out, and should be paid for, in installments.
It is easy to pay by credit or debit card. Please call 0115 9581634 to pay. We also accept cheques (in Sterling) made payable to INSPIRE.
We accept requests for up to two hours research initially and will advise if further hours are required.
Types of Research
The Research Service will carry out research using any of the archives available at Nottinghamshire Archives.
Broadly the holdings of the Archives consist of:
- local government records such as the county, district and parish councils
- public records including hospitals, courts and workhouses
- ecclesiastical records such as Church of England parish records and non-conformist church records
- records of families, businesses, societies and other organisations and individuals.
Even if your family was not Nottinghamshire based, we are able to undertake internet research for family history nationally. We have access to a wide variety of resources such as the vastly improved General Register Office indexes now offered by the Ancestry.co.uk (Library Edition) website.
In addition to census returns (1841-1901) for anywhere in England and Wales available via Ancestry, we also have access to:
- London and other county parish records including Dorset, Lancashire, Surrey and Warwickshire; also Liverpool and Manchester
- British Postal Service appointment books (1737-1969)
- British Phone Books (1880-1984)
- London Poor Law records (1839-1940) and Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960).
We can also provide access to the International Genealogical Index via the Family Search website.