Changes to document ordering
We will soon make some changes to same-day document ordering.
From Monday 31 March 2020, as part of a six-month trial, readers will be able to order a maximum of 12 documents for the same day, plus up to 12 documents ordered in advance (a maximum of 24 documents per reader per day).
There will be five document ordering slots available each day and you can order as many of your 12 same-day documents as you require in any of the slots. This means that if you have prepared your references you will be able to order 12 documents at the same time. Documents will be delivered at set times each day.
You will not need to finish your advance orders before ordering documents for the same day. The new document ordering and delivery times are listed below:
|Document ordering slots||Earliest availability in reading rooms|
In order to facilitate these changes, same-day document ordering will start at 09:45 and finish at 15:30 each day. Advance ordering for the next day will also close at 15:30. Reading room opening times will be unaffected.
To prepare for these changes, we have looked closely at the average number of documents viewed by each reader per day (currently around eight documents each), and have identified new parameters to ensure that readers who plan their visit can conduct their research efficiently in the reading rooms. The proposed changes will give us the opportunity to supply documents to readers within dedicated delivery time slots throughout the day. This will allow us to maintain the collection appropriately so that we can ensure its preservation for future generations of researchers. We will be trialling these changes for six months from the end of March, during which time we will closely monitor reader usage and seek feedback from readers.
The majority of our readers already request records in advance of a visit in order to make the most of their day. If you are not already a user of the advance and bulk order services you can find details on our website on the how to order documents page. We have included a comparison breakdown of the changes overleaf.
|Service||Current times/conditions||From 31 March 2020||Comments|
|Same-day document ordering||09:30–16:00
Allows up to three documents to be ordered at a time. An additional document can be ordered once each document is delivered.
Random delivery times.
Rolling 24 document limit including advance orders.
All 12 documents can be ordered simultaneously.
Five dedicated document delivery slots each day.
Static 24 document limit including advance orders.
Concentrates on the busiest user times and provides additional time for increased advance order production and collection maintenance.
Reduces waiting time between batches of documents
Readers will know when to expect documents to be ready for viewing.
24 documents is three times the average number of documents seen by an average user each day.
|Advance orders||Up to 12 documents a day – closes at 16:00 for next day visits.
Documents available to view from 09:00.
|Up to 12 documents a day – closes at 15:30 for next day visits.
Documents available to view from 09:00.
|30 minute earlier cut off to allow for preparation of increased number of advance orders to be ready to view for 09:00.|
Latest News from
Over £330,000 awarded in grants to archive services18/09/2020 14:15:00
During the COVID-19 pandemic, archives have demonstrated an impressive ability to innovate and engage with archive users.
Digital preservation project shortlisted for award16/09/2020 12:43:00
National Archives are delighted to announce that our Safeguarding the Nation’s Digital Memory project team has been shortlisted for The Software Sustainability Institute Award for Research and Innovation at the 2020 Digital Preservation Awards.
The National Archives now open, offering greater access to our collections07/09/2020 13:38:00
National Archives are very pleased to be able to welcome visitors back into our reading rooms, offering a limited service to visitors who need access to our collection of original documents for their research.
Artwork to commemorate heroes of the Blitz commissioned by Ancestry07/09/2020 09:15:00
Family history experts Ancestry have commissioned 33 artists around the UK to create artwork based on Civil Gallantry Award records held at The National Archives to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the Blitz.
The National Archives welcomes Swedish School onsite at Kew25/08/2020 09:05:00
We are delighted to announce the commencement of a new strategic collaboration with the Swedish School in London (SSL).
Tickets now available for Meet the Author series20/08/2020 09:15:00
This autumn, we will be launching Meet the Author, a brand new programme of free online talks with high-profile authors.
The National Archives now open, offering a limited service07/08/2020 16:15:00
National Archives are very pleased to announce that they are now able to welcome visitors back into thier reading rooms.
Newly accredited archive services announced30/07/2020 14:15:00
The UK Archive Service Accreditation Committee is pleased to announce that the University of Manchester Library was awarded Archive Service Accreditation for the first time at the latest panel meeting in July 2020.
The National Archives now open, offering a limited service27/07/2020 09:10:00
We’re very pleased to announce that we are now able to welcome visitors back into our reading rooms. We are offering a limited service to visitors who need access to our collection of original documents for their research. Visitors are required to book their visit and order their documents in advance.