Using the archives

Find out how you can access the collections for research, get copies or even buy photos for yourself or as a gift.

How to view the archives collection

Visits to the Archives Service will be by appointment only. You will need to register for an 'Archives Card' before making your visit. See our blog for details and contact us to arrange an appointment.

Information on appointments

Appointments for using a Public Computer or a Microfiche Reader

To use computers or microfiche readers please book in advance, bookings on the day will be subject to availability.

Appointments for consulting archives

To view original archives, customers need to book their appointment and order documents in advance, preferably by 1pm on the previous working day. For example, for an appointment on Wednesday, submit your document request by 1pm on Tuesday, or for bookings on Saturday and Monday, you should submit your request by 1pm on the Friday before.

Customers wishing to use the East Riding Register of Deeds need to book in advance.

Donating or depositing archives

You will need to make an appointment in advance to deposit or donate records before bringing in the records.

The Research Room

The research room has two parts, the computer area and the document viewing area. You will need to sign in at reception when you arrive. The research room has study tables, computers, microfiche and microfilm, local history books on open shelves and a self-serve photocopier and printer (see charges on the shop page).

You can access some family history websites free of charge from the computers in the research room. There is also a private interview room to talk about your research, and rooms to watch and listen to our collection of audiovisual archives.

Note: You must register for the Archives Card on before you arrive for your appointment. Registration is free and will allow readers to consult documents, and access the archives computers and microfiche readers. For more information, read our blog post on the Archives Card scheme.

Research room rules

Rules for the East Riding Archives research room are in place to ensure the protection of items and encourage a positive environment for staff and visitors. Before your visit, please read through all rules.

Entering the Research Room

  1. Use the free lockers provided, with keys available from reception, to store all valuables, bags and coats. Coats are not allowed on the back of chairs or on tables.

  2. Sign the research room register at reception and show a valid ID.

  3. Wash and dry your hands before you handle collections. Dirt and natural oils that build on the skin can damage items.

  4. Switch off any electronic devices, such as mobile phones and personal stereos as these can interfere with research recordings.

  5. If you intend to take photos with your phone, you need to buy a photography pass.

During your visit

  1. Order documents and books you would like to view online in advance, or use the paper slips on the research room desks. Put these in the ‘orders’ box on the wall.

  2. Do not request more than necessary for your research. You can view a maximum of three volumes or 10 individual items at a time.

  3. Only use a pencil to make notes in notebooks and on sheets of paper. No ink, pens, corrector fluid, scissors, glue, erasers or post-it notes can be brought into the research room.

  4. Do not remove any documents from the secure area. East Riding Archives is environment-controlled to protect our collections.

  5. Follow our handling guidelines at all times, and treat all items with care. Do not mark books in any way.

  6. Use the protective coverings and supports that we provide. Do not lean on any items.

  7. Use paper strips as provided to follow lines of text. Do not use your fingers.

  8. Keep all documents in the order that staff give to you. Do not re-order or attempt to repair any items. If you feel something is out of place, tell a member of staff.

  9. Some items can be scanned or copied, depending on how fragile they are and copyright law; please ask a member of staff. You can see a list of charges on the shop page. Do not trace or use handheld, portable or pen scanners as they can damage documents.

  10. You can request to use some items in a publication. See charges on the shop page. Please be aware that some documents are only entitled to a single copy for private use under copyright law.

Personal equipment

  1. With staff permission, you may use your own laptop, if it runs on battery. Speak to staff if you would like to use tape recorders or other equipment.

  2. We cannot allow any untested electrical devices, including laptop chargers, to be plugged in.

  3. Photography is allowed with a valid photography pass. Do not use flash photography as this can damage items.

Leaving the Research Room

  1. Return all archives to the desk. Do not leave any items on the desks. Please return any books on the open shelves to their places.

  2. Wait for staff to check your documents back and wait for them to open the security door.

At all times

  1. No food or drink, including chewing gum, throat pastilles and bottled water, can be brought into the research room. Visitors to the archives can get a 10% discount in the café upstairs in the Treasure House.

  2. Treat staff and other visitors with courtesy and consideration. Do not talk loudly in the research room. There is an interview room available for private conversations about your work.

  3. Children of primary school age or under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Making copies

All copies of archive items must be within copyright law. If you want a copy of an archive item to use in a publication, such as a book, please see reproduction in publication costs below.


Buy a photography pass to be able to take photos of documents in the research room with your own camera and an unlimited number of shots. Phone cameras are permitted but must not be used for calls and must be on silent mode.

Please note: Flash photography is not allowed in the research room. Not all items can be photographed, or some items can only be photographed by our trained staff.

  • Day pass - £10
  • One year pass (valid from date of purchase) - £45

To buy a photography pass, pay at the reception in the Research Room with cash or a card.

Visit the Archives

Staff photography

You can order photographs of items from our staff for supply on CD or be emailed them. Some of our more fragile items can only be photographed by our staff. This starts at £21.50, including one photo, CD and staff time. Each additional photo costs £2. A CD can hold roughly 160 photos, depending on image size. Staff photography orders are normally completed within ten working days of payment, unless otherwise stated. Completed CDs can be picked up from the Archives reception at the Treasure House or posted for a small fee. The staff camera is a Canon EOS 5DS Digital SLR, with 50 megapixels.

Breakdown of costs:

  • Handling charge - £17.50
  • Cost per shot - £2
  • Cost per CD and copying onto CD - £2

Order an email quote

Self-service photocopies

There is a self-serve printer and photocopier in the research room which can be used for microfiche, microfilm and books on the open shelves. Some items can be brought to the research room to be copied. You can pay an additional fee for our staff to copy items. Some items can only be copied by trained staff.

Some documents are too fragile to be photocopied but may be able to be photographed instead. Most fragile items are marked in the online catalogue under physical description. A member of staff can advise how to obtain copies of particular archive items.

  • Self-service A4 microfilm/fiche printer reader - 60p
  • Self-service from A3 microfilm/fiche printer reader - 80p
  • Self-service A4 and A3 black and white print - 10p
  • Self-service printout from public access PC - 10p
  • Self-service colour printout from public access PC - 50p
  • Print out from transcript or electronic file - 10p

Staff photocopies and scans

Some fragile documents require special care from our trained staff to be copied. Some documents are too fragile to be photocopied but may be able to be photographed instead. Most fragile items are marked in the online catalogue under physical description. A member of staff can advise how to obtain copies of particular archive items.

Printed Photocopies

  • A4 black and white page - 60p
  • A3 black and white page - 80p
  • A4 colour page - £1.20
  • A3 colour page - £1.50
  • A4 from microfilm/fiche reader - £1.20
  • A3 from microfilm/fiche reader - £1.50

Scan to CD, DVD or email

  • Cost per scan - £2
  • Cost per CD and copying onto CD - £2
  • Handling charge - £3 per 10 scans

Make an order at the desk or by email (see Get Copies by post or email below).

Audio and visual copies

You can order copies of some of our audio and video archives for private research.

Save to CD or DVD

  • Cost per audio or video file - £2
  • Cost per CD/DVD and copying onto disk - £2
  • Handling charge - £3 per 10 audio/video files

Make an order at the desk or by email (see Get Copies by post or email below).

Certified copies and deeds

You can get copies from the Register of Deeds. These copies can be certified if you need them for legal reasons. This means that they are stamped and signed as being a true copy.

  • Marriage certificate from parish register - £11*
  • Baptism certificate from parish register - £30**
  • Search and certificate from parish register, baptism - £21**
  • Certified transcript from a parish register - £6
  • Certification other than parish registers - £6

* Statutory charges governed by the Registrar General

** Statutory charges governed by Ecclesiastical Fees Order

Register of Deeds

  • Copy memorial - £26
  • Copy certified memorial - £32
  • Copy plan - £7.50
  • Search fee, per half-hour - £15
  • Copy memorial (self-search) - £8

Make an order at the desk or by email (see Get Copies by post or email below).

Get copies by post or email

  • Handling charge for orders by post - £3 per production item

Unable to visit and would like a copy? We can arrange the delivery of copies via post or email. Please request a quote via email, including the reference number for the item (found in the catalogue), a description of what you need, your preference for hard copy (posted) or scans (emailed) and the size required (A4 or A3). Once submitted, our staff will see how many copies or photos are required to send the entire document and arrange payment.

Please note: staff copy orders are normally completed within ten working days unless otherwise stated. All copies must obey the copyright law.

Order an email quote

Not sure what copies you need? Find out more about hiring research help.

Copyright Law

Making copies of items can be important for researchers to gather evidence, or you can request copies of items if you cannot visit the archives in person. If you want a copy of an archive item to use in a publication, such as a book, please see reproduction in publication costs below. There are many ways in which you can get copies. These can be printed or you can scan an item to save on CD or be emailed.

Any copying must not break copyright law. For items with copyright restrictions, you are allowed one copy to use in your research and will need to fill in an order form with a copyright declaration.

Own a piece of East Riding heritage

Was it the spot of your first date? A memory of an ancestor? There are many places that hold special connections and memories for us. Now you can gift a little piece of East Riding history to friends, family, and yourself. It's a great way to bring a vintage feel to any home or business.

East Riding Photos

Choose from more than 1,500 wonderful scenes from our postcard collection, spanning from the 19th century to the 1960s. Our original images have been carefully digitised to help preserve East Riding heritage for future generations, and give wider access to the fascinating and beautiful history of the area. You can buy high-quality prints in a range of sizes from 6x4 to 2x16.

Price: various

Where to buy: Buy online on the East Riding Photos website.

Visit East Riding Photos

Trawling Through Time DVD

Buy the Trawling Through Time: The Story Of Cook, Welton & Gemmell on DVD. Once a global shipbuilding powerhouse, the local company produced over 1300 vessels from its shipyard at Beverley, including fishing trawlers, tugs and minesweepers in the 20th Century.

Price: £5.99

Where to buy: Beverley Tourist Information Centre, at the Treasure House.

Visit the Treasure House

The 50 Lives of the First World War

Discover the stories of 50 local people whose photographs were published in the Beverley Guardian during World war One, researched by volunteers from the East Riding Archives.

Price: £4.50

Where to buy: Reception at East Riding Archives, at the Treasure House.

Visit the Treasure House

Talks and tours

Take a peek into the inner workings of East Riding Archives with a behind-the-scenes tour for your group. Learn about the conservation workshop, the special materials needed to preserve paper documents over time and the environment-controlled strongrooms that house all the mysteries of East Riding heritage. Lectures from our archivists are also available. For costs and available dates, please get in touch. Check out the events page for any upcoming activities.

Get in touch

Help with research

Half-hour search help - £15

If you are unable to search through records at East Riding Archives, you can request a half-hour session by one of our trained staff. This service does not guarantee our staff can find information relevant to your research. To get the most out of your half-hour, it is best to provide as much detail as possible, such as names, places and date ranges to focus on. We cannot search for open-ended topics.

To request research help, you will need to provide the item number you would like to be searched for. This can be found in our online catalogue. A non-refundable fee of £15 must be paid when you request the search. Our staff will complete the search and forward the results via email within 10 working days.

Request research help

We can search the following types of records:

  • Church registers
  • Newspapers
  • Census records 1841-1901
  • School registers
  • Cemetery and coroners' records
  • Electoral registers.

If you need a longer search or a lot of research you should employ a record searcher. The following external websites may help you:

Reproduction in publication

To reproduce items from East Riding Archives in any publication, printed or digital, there is a £28 publication license fee per item produced, with additional copy charges depending on the size and nature of the project. In lieu of the fee, copies of the final publication may be accepted instead. All decisions of the Archives Manager are final. To discuss details of your project, and for advice on copyright ownership of the items you wish to reproduce, please supply us with your contact details and a brief overview of the project, and one of our team will get back to you within 10 working days.

Get in touch

Professional and education

We welcome all academic researchers, primary school, college and university students, tutors and lecturers. Archives are the perfect source for research in history, art, creative writing and more. The Treasure House Education Officer can provide support for academic research and help arrange talks, tours and collections study sessions. Get in touch for more information.

Get in touch

Image: Beverley [Grammar School] class c.1930s (archive ref DDBB-2-8-16).

Legal evidence

East Riding Archives can provide key evidence from the past such as decisions made by local authorities, previous land use and property ownership in the Register of Deeds. This can be used to prove facts and as evidence in legal matters. Our staff can help you find the documents you need, but unfortunately, we cannot supply legal advice. Please note: There are charges for staff research and photocopies.

Image: Police officers on Beverley Westwood[presumed] 1920 (archive ref POL-3-11-6-10)