Isle of Wight Record Office

Ventnor, Isle of Wight.  c. 1890-1900Ventnor, Isle of Wight. c. 1890-1900. Photocrom Print Collection

Isle of Wight Record Office holds resources relating to the island. 

The Office's aims are to collect, preserve and catalogue records reflecting the history of the Isle of Wight to preserve them for present and future generations, and to make these archives publicly accessible.   

Other aims of the Office are to:

  • Publish articles in local publications and make use of social media channels to advertise the Archive
  • Develop relationships with other heritage organisations throughout the Island
  • Help to make the Isle of Wight a place where people would like to work and visit
  • Keep up to date with developments in Digital Preservation

The archives cover the period from the twelfth century to the present day.

The resources cover a vast range of subjects which include church records, family papers, local government records and school registers. 

Whatever your research interest, whether you are tracing your family history, researching the history of a house or are interested in local history, you will find the documents of use. These records are also useful if you are working on a school or college project or completing university degree work.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Contact Information for Isle of Wight Record Office


Isle of Wight Record Office
26 Hillside 

PO30 2EB 

Telephone Numbers:- 

01983 823820 (Mail Box Number 2232)



For more information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and peruse their Finding Aids.

Many documents have been indexed, these indexes being available in the search room at Hillside. Each Island parish is covered by the Office's parish collection and includes details of parish registers from 1539. It also includes documents with regard to poor relief and churchwardens accounts.

Some of their databases may be searched on-line which include: 

  • 1841 Census Index arranged alphabetically by surname
  • Alehouse Licences 1766-1819
  • Apprenticeship Indentures 1689-1835
  • Church of England Marriage Register Index 1837-1900 indexed by bride and groom
  • Cowes Registry of Shipping1786-1930
  • Indictments Pauper's Lists 1768-1836
  • Sacrament Certificates 1673-1827

They have personal name indexes to:

  • Apprenticeship Register 1802-1833: Related to the workhouse
  • Civil Cemeteries 1858-c2000
  • Cremations 1965-c2000
  • Census Return Indexes 1841-1891
  • Coroner Records
  • Electoral Registers 1921, 1925, 1929, 1933, 1938, 1947
  • Fire Insurance 1777-1786/7: Surname Index to Sun Fire Office Fire Insurance Policies
  • Fire Insurance 1777-1786/7: Surname Index to Royal Exchange Insurance Policies
  • Isle of Wight Volunteer Artillery Militia 1852-1872: Nominal Roll
  • Monumental Inscriptions 1500s-c1980
  • Newchurch Rate Books 1846, 1856, 1866
  • Nonconformist Records
  • Parish Records
  • Parish Registers
  • Petty Sessions Records: County Petty Sessions 1819-1879, Newport Petty Sessions 1837-1888
  • School Records
  • Wills

They also have School records indexes:

  • Bluecoat Charity School for Girls, Newport 1761-1902(Index to Admission Register)
  • Castlehold Baptist Sunday School, Carisbrooke 1865-1874(Index to Admission Register)
  • Newport Grammar School 1837-1891(Index to Admission Register)
  • Niton Wesleyan Sunday School 1869-1891(Index to Admission Register)
  • Ryde National Infants School 1886-1905(Index to Admission Register)

Index to wills incorporate:

  • Diocese of Winchester Wills 1571-1858
  • IOW Wills 1378-1600

Opening Hours

Opening Hours can be found by perusing the appropriate section of the Office's Contact Information page.


To peruse material that is held on microfilm or microfiche, it is beset to make an appointment.  It is also advisable to book the Microfilm printer in advance if you wish to print paper copies from the microfilm or microfiche.  You should also tell them what documents you wish to access.  

If you wish to consult a map, booking is essential because of space limitations.

Location and Directions

Parking is limited, so disabled drivers are advised to reserve a space. It is also possible to park at the Quay but access to this car park is closed on Tuesdays because of market day. There are several other car parks within the town centre.


Because space in the Archive is limited, you should make an appointment if you wish to use your own laptop.

Photography and Photocopying

You are able to use a digital camera in the Office, but you will need to inform the staff before you start taking any photographs because some documents are fragile and easily damaged.  You also need to purchase a photography permit.

If you wish to take photocopies of a document, you should again inform a member of staff, who will copy the document on your behalf.  Taking photocopies of some documents is prohibited.


Although the Office is closed at lunchtime, there are several eating establishments in the town, which is approximately 10 minutes walk from the Office.


Unfortunately, the design of the building means that it is very difficult to add disabled access.  There are external steps with a handrail, but two internal steps do not have handrails.  Many wheelchairs would not fit through the doors in the Office.  If you are wheelchair bound or have mobility issues, and would like to visit the Office, it is best to contact them prior to your visit to see if they can help in any way.

There are no disabled toilet facilities either.

No hearing loop is available in the building.

Research Service

The Office offers a research service for those unable to visit in person, but please bear in mind that they do make a charge to people taking advantage of this service.  Some searches are free, however, such as:

  • Checking an address in the Electoral Register for one year (you will need to know the street)
  • Checking for an individual in the 1841, 1851, 1871, 1881 or 1891 Census Returns
  • Checking in an original baptism register after 1920 (you will need to tell them the year and parish name)
  • Checking in an original marriage register after 1910 (you will need to tell them the year and parish name)
  • Checking in their baptism index for the years 1900-1920
  • One check of their burial index for the years 1900-2000 (you will need to tell them the year you wish them to search)

Readers' Tickets

If you are only intending to visit the Archives for the day, day tickets are available which give access. You will still need to provide proof of name and address before this ticket may be issued, but you do not need to provide proof of identity.

The Archives is a member of CARN (County Archive Research Network)