Warwickshire Record Office preserves and collects resources relating to Warwickshire, and makes them publicly accessible.
The earliest document in their collection dates from the twelfth century.
Resources held by the Office include documents, manuscripts, maps and photographs.
The resources are kept in a secure environment to preserve them for present and future generations.
Resources cover many topics from title deeds to baptism registers, so whether you want to investigate the history of a house, discover more about your local community or conduct family history research, you will find the documents of use.
The documents are also useful if you are conducting research for a school, college or university assignment.
The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to offer assistance if required.
It is also prudent to peruse their on-line catalogues and databases. Databases available on the site include a Licensed Victuallers Database, a Tithe Apportionments Database and the Calendars of Prisoners Database.
A small number of wills are available in Warwickshire Record Office. All the wills they hold are listed in a card index.
If you wish to peruse pre-1858 wills, these are held in Worcestershire Record Office.
If you would like to look at post-1858 wills, these can be obtained from York Probate Registry. To find the will you wish to access, you can access the National Probate Index, which is available in Warwickshire Record Office, to find the information you require.
The Archive's opening hours can be found by going to their visiting us page.
Car parking is limited, but there is a dropping off zone as well as a number of disabled spaces. You do not need to book a space before visiting, but it is prudent to telephone if you wish to reserve a disabled parking space.
You do not have to make an appointment before visiting the Archive or request documents in advance although if you live a distance from them it is advisable to ring beforehand to check the documents you wish to access are available. You should also tell them the date and approximate time you wish to visit.
If you wish to access a document containing sensitive information, (hospital patient records, coroners' records and court records) you should contact the Archive providing details and dates of the item you wish to consult, so they can advise you whether you will be allowed to access them. If you find these records are not generally available, then you can submit your request to access these documents by letter or by email.
You are able to use a digital camera, but the Office makes a charge to people taking advantage of this service. Some documents cannot be photographed because they are fragile and easily damaged. Therefore, you must speak to a member of staff before taking any photographs. You must also make sure flash is turned off.
You also have to declare that the photographs you take will only be used for your own use, and have to fill in a copyright and data protection form.
Whilst the Office does offer to photocopy documents on your behalf, some documents cannot be copied because of their size. They are also unable to photocopy parchment, photographs or bound volumes. If the document is smaller than A3 in size, it can normally be photocopied. You are advised to contact the Office to ask them if they are able to photocopy the document you wish them to copy.
The Archive can provide copies of registers and surrender cards from Warwickshire County Licence Office, but you are required to provide the vehicle's registration number.
The building is fully accessible. Although steps lead up to the main entrance, a ramp is available. The main doors are set to automatically open, the door opening being 115cm (3ft 9in) wide.
Once inside the building, the reception desk is low, and there is medium lighting. A hearing assistance system is operational, with staff trained in its use. Motorised scooters can be used in all public areas of the venue.
You have to go up 10 steps to access the foyer area, but handrails are available on both sides and the steps are marked clearly. A lift is available for those of limited mobility. The clear door of the lift is 100cm (3ft 3in) wide, but it does not have a visual floor indicator, nor does it have Braille markings.
They do not have separate toilets facilities for the disabled, but a disabled toilet is available within the main customer toilets.
Registered guide dogs are also welcome.
They offer a research service for people unable to visit in person. They also have a list of researchers who, for a fee, are willing to carry out research on your behalf.
The Office is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).
For further details of Record Offices in Warwickshire, please visit my page regarding Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service.