Research and copy services

We offer a variety of copying services as well as a research service for those who are not able to visit us in person.

All copying is subject to the Data Protection Act and copyright legislation. We will not photocopy or scan any document if doing so might cause damage to it. In these circumstances, it may be possible to photograph it instead. If you visit us, you may, at the archivist’s discretion, photograph the item with the purchase of a camera licence.


Charges apply for any copying requests:

  • B/W A4 photocopy – 30p
  • B/W A3 photocopy – 40p
  • B/W A4 microfilm print – 30p
  • B/W A3 microfilm print – 40p.

It is advisable to book the microfilm printer in advance.

A £5.00 handling charge may apply for some requests which includes postage.

Photocopy requests taking more than 15 minutes to complete will be subject to a charge based on our hourly rate. If you require copies by post, get a quote first by contacting us or submitting a general enquiry.

Scans and photographs

You may also request a copy of images or purchase a camera license. The charges for each are:

  • CD and up to five images (UK and Europe) – £5.00
  • CD and up to five images (rest of the world) – £7.50
  • each additional scan – 50p
  • search room camera licence (24 hours) – £5.00
  • search room camera licence (six months) – £20.00
  • search room camera licence (12 months) – £30.00

Microfilm/fiche search

The following charges apply for microfiche/film:

  • full microfilm search – £25.00 per hour.
  • short microfilm search (UK/Europe) – £5.00 per film plus copies (see above).
  • short microfilm search (rest of the world) – £7.50 per film plus copies (see above).

Entries that can be checked at this reduced rate are:

  • local newspapers – The Isle of Wight County Press 1884 to 2009, Isle of Wight Observer 1852 to 1922, Isle of Wight Times 1862 to 1974. You will need to request the relevant year (some years are missing from our series). Check our list of newspapers (PDF, 35KB) before you order
  • census returns – address required
  • parish registers – year and parish required.

To request a search of our microfilms, email us or submit a general enquiry.

Free Searches

A range of free searches are available. These are:

  • information for sources
  • your own baptism record
  • check single address per year in an electoral register (1920 to 2007), (you will need to know the street name for this search)
  • check single rate book by volume (you will need to know the address for this search)
  • check up to ten years for a baptism, marriage, or burial in the card index (covering the period between 1538 and 1900). For baptisms, the names of any siblings within the same period will also be supplied 
  • check our baptism index for the years 1900 to 1920 (you will need to know the names of any siblings within the same period for this search)
  • check a single original baptism register after 1920 (you will need to know the year and name of parish for this search)
  • check a single original marriage register after 1910  (you will need to know the year and name of parish for this search)
  • check our burial index for the years 1900 to 2000. (you will need to know the year you require for this search)
  • check for an individual in our surname index within the census for 1841, 1851, 1871, 1881, or 1891.

For a full list of the covering dates (PDF, 67KB) of the parish registers held at this office.

A search taking less than ten minutes to complete is at the discretion of the archivist.

To submit a request for free research, email or submit a general enquiry form.

Paid Research

Research undertaken by our service for one hour is £25.00. A half-hour is £15.00. Send us your paid research request. Payment must be made in advance.

You will be paying for the search, not for the results. Unfortunately, we cannot refund your fee if an extensive search has not proved successful.
Photocopies required are charged separately.

The research will be carried out by a member of staff under the supervision of the archivist. A reply should be sent to you within three weeks from the date your enquiry is received. A copy of your report will be placed in a family file and made available to members of the public after a two-year period has elapsed unless you specifically state that you do not wish this to happen.

How to pay

Payment for our services is by sterling cheque, payable to Isle of Wight Council by post or by credit card over the phone.

If you wish to pay by credit card, ensure we have your postal details before you call to process the payment. Do not include your credit card details in any written communication.