Isle of Wight Record Office holds resources relating to the island. These 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.
The Office then makes these records publicly accessible.
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.
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:
They have personal name indexes to:
They also have School records indexes:
Index to wills incorporate:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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)