Record Office

Using the Record Office

Inside the Record Office

Service update

The Record Office is open. Booking is essential due to the limited numbers that can be accommodated in the building and the need for social distancing.

Visitors will be required to wear face coverings while in the Record Office, and are asked to make use of the hand-washing facilities on site.

We will be collecting the names and contact details for all visitors for participation in NHS Track and Trace. We will also have a QR code that visitors can use to record their visit.

Documents will be quarantined for 72 hours after use.

A booking can be for a one or two hour session in the morning or afternoon, and it is only possible to have one booking at a time.

The office is open four days a week - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - from 9.30am until 4.30pm. The office is closed between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

Bookings can be made between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday by emailing record.office@iow.gov.uk or calling 01983 823820.

Please do not visit until you have had confirmation there is space at your preferred time.

Visitors are asked to discuss their research interests prior to a visit so that documents, where possible, can be ordered in advance.

Planning your visit

You are welcome to bring laptops, mobile devices, cameras and stationery. The search room is Wi-Fi enabled. You can use your phone or camera to take copies of documents during your visit on the purchase of a camera licence. To protect the documents, please use a pencil. If you forget to bring one, a pencil can usually be provided. We have also produced an information sheet for researchers with disabilities.

We have several planned closures for public holidays in 2021-22. Please check these dates before making any booking requests.

Getting to the Record Office

The Record Office is on Hillside in Newport, located between Fairlee Road (A3054) and the Quay. A map of the Record Office and surrounding area is available through the Contact tab at the top of the page. A set of external and internal views of the Record Office building are provided on Google maps/places.  

If travelling by car, the Record Office postcode is PO30 2EB. On arrival, please request a parking permit from the member of staff on duty in the Search Room.

If travelling by public transport there are bus services to Newport from the ferry terminals of Ryde, Cowes and Yarmouth. The Record Office is within ten minutes walking distance of Newport bus station.

Hillside Barrier: the barrier between Hillside and the Quay is locked at all times. Vehicle access to the Record Office is from the Fairlee Road end of Hillside only.

Arriving at the Record Office

On arriving at the Record Office you should wear a face covering when entering the building and eport to the enquiries desk in the search room. You will be asked to complete a day ticket. This gives you access to original documents at the office for one day. You will need to give details of your name and address, but will not require proof of identification. There are six parking spaces which are free to use subject to availability. You will need to complete a parking permit from the enquiries desk and place this in your car for the benefit of parking attendants, otherwise a fine may be issued. 

Finding Aids

Indexes

View a list of the indexes, available in the search room, of documents held.

Catalogues

Catalogues in the search room include estate collections, parish records, nonconformist records, records of local government, schools, hospitals and businesses.

Library

There is a small library of reference books and published works about both the Isle of Wight and historical sources. Members of staff will be pleased to provide guidance on using the facilities. Please ask if you require assistance.

Requesting documents

Each document has a unique reference number by which it is identified. The reference numbers are obtained from the indexes and catalogues. If you wish to see a particular document, you should write its reference number and details on a request slip, and then sign and date it. The request slips are kept on the enquiry desk. You may request up to four items at one time, but you should use a separate slip for each item. The completed slips should be placed in the request box on the enquiry desk. Last orders for documents are 15 minutes before closing time. 

A member of staff will fetch the documents that you have requested, and they should be produced within ten minutes. Production times may be longer if the search room is particularly busy.

Please remember that each record is unique and historically precious, and should therefore be handled carefully. Use a pencil when taking notes and do not lean on the documents. 

Eating, drinking and smoking are not allowed in the search room. 

Please show consideration to other researchers by keeping as quiet as possible.

Consulting documents

 It is advisable to record the reference numbers of any records that you consult in case you wish to refer to them again.

Returning documents

Documents should be handed back at the enquiry desk. Once you have finished consulting original material, your reader's ticket will be returned.  Please ensure that you have returned the documents at least ten minutes before closing time.

A code of conduct applies to use of the search room, for the benefit of all users and the preservation of the documents we hold.