Frequently Asked Questions

What is an archive?
(1) A record of significant historical interest
(2) A collection or repository of records of significant historical interest

Archives traditionally include personal and organisational papers (for example, diaries, correspondence, photographs, minutes, and reports) although they are increasingly in a digital format. Archives tend to be unique, as they are usually created by an individual in the course of their activity or business. Archives are historically significant if they provide evidence of an important decision, action or activity.

What is a catalogue?
A catalogue is a database containing descriptions about the collections that we hold. You can search the catalogue to look for records of interest to you.

Why can't I see images of the documents in the catalogue?
The catalogue only contains descriptions for the documents in our archive. It does contain digitised images of some of the photographs in the collection.

Why can't I find what I'm looking for?
Searching will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so if you haven't found what you want, it is often best to try several related terms.

We are working to catalogue all of our records, and new records are added on a regular basis so please be aware that this is a work in progress and that not all collections are currently included in the catalogue. For more comprehensive information about our collections, please contact us.

How do I access the documents I've found in the catalogue?
Once you have found what you are looking for, make a note of the reference number of the document and visit us to view the item.

By default, records are presented in order of the Reference Number, but you can sort the list of results according to the field of your choice by clicking on the column heading.

How can I access records if I can't come to the Archives?
Provided the material is suitable for copying, you may ask for copies to be made and sent to you. Find out more on our website.

We also operate a fee-paying research service, so Archives staff can search the records on your behalf. Find out more on our website.

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