Wednesday 22 April 2020

Free access to the (UK) National Archives's records

The National Archives (TNA) in London has announced that its digital record collection is now free of charge to registered users. The collection, which is published through the TNA's Discovery catalogue, will remain free, subject to its fair use and terms of use policies, until the site in Kew reopens to the public.
The National Archives in Kew, London

Researchers will need to be registered users (free account here) and will be entitled to order and download up to 10 items with no cost, up to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days.

You can see the full digital collection here. It includes some record sets available on other mainstream database sites that charge for access; these record sets will be free only via the TNA Discovery site.

Among the free records most likely to be of interest to genealogists with Irish ancestry are:
  • First and Second World War records, including medal index cards
  • Military records, including unit war diaries
  • Royal and Merchant Navy records, including Royal Marine service records
  • Wills from the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
  • Migration records, including aliens’ registration cards and naturalisation case papers
If you're not already familiar with using Discovery, you'd do well to read the TNA's announcement and instructions here.