Westminster Diocesan Archives receives hundreds of enquiries every year regarding its collections. Many of these ask us to undertake research in our collections on behalf of enquirers. Doing this can often be a time consuming process and, as we have a small staff, it does impact on other work in the archive.
Because of this, we have a policy of charging for any research that we consider will take between half an hour and two hours for us to complete. The minimum charge is £20 for up to an hour and then £10 for each subsequent half hour. We will not spend more than two hours on a single enquiry. An enquiry which takes less than half an hour to complete will usually not be charged for e.g. finding one baptism/marriage with names and dates (at least month and year) provided, looking up a person or organisation in the Catholic directory.
We do not charge for providing information about our collections or services, general advice on archival research or preservation, or advice on Catholic family history research. We also do not charge for searches in our catalogue, unless it will take a disproportionate amount of staff time.
If you wish to use the paid research service, then please download and complete the form below and return it to us, preferably by email. We will then contact you to discuss the research and likely costs before going ahead. We aim to carry out research within 21 days of receipt of the form but at busy times, this may not always be possible.
This service is most suitable for family history research using sacramental records or finding out specific factual information about a person, place or organisation. It is not suitable for most academic research or large scale projects. In these cases, you should consider visiting the archive yourself or employing a professional researcher.
If you're not sure whether your enquiry needs to be paid for, or whether this is an appropriate service for you to use, then please just let us know what it is and we will advise -we will never do anything that costs money without checking with you in advance so don't worry about hidden charges!