Record Office

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Does the Record Office have a room for refreshments?

Answer: We regret that the Record Office has no space available for such a facility, although there are a number of cafes and restaurants within a ten minutes walk in Newport.

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Question: What is the difference between the Record Office and the Register Office?

Answer: The RECORD OFFICE keeps church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials dating from 1539 onwards. We have a Personal Names Index (on card), which records all the entries in these registers for the period 1539-1900. The REGISTER OFFICE can supply birth, marriage and death certificates dating from 1 July 1837onwards. The Isle of Wight Family History Society is in the process of indexing these records, and their database is available online. In addition, microfiche indexes to births, marriages and deaths for England are available locally at the Lord Louis Library.

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Question: Can I borrow documents?

Answer: No, all records must be viewed in the searchroom. If you cannot visit the Office, you may use our research service, or obtain photocopies of documents (subject to their physical condition and copyright regulations).

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Question: Does the Record Office have a Collection Policy?

Answer: Yes, see http://www.iow.gov.uk/library/record_office/collecti.asp - Related Link

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Question: What types of records do you keep?

Answer: We keep a wide range of records spanning the 12th - 21st centuries, including records of parish churches, estates, families, businesses, schools and local government. - Related Link

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Question: Do I need to make an appointment?

Answer: You do not need to make an appointment unless you wish to consult material held on microfilm/fiche. Our microfilm/fiche material comprises census returns, parish registers, wills and the County Press, Isle of Wight Times and Isle of Wight Observer. You will need to tell us which records you wish to consult and whether you require a viewer or printer. Please bear in mind that we have a Personal Names Index (on card) recording all entries in parish registers from 1539 - 1900. The index will allow you to locate details of individual baptisms, marriages and burials without the need to search parish registers. You will therefore only need to book a microfilm reader if you wish to view the actual entries in the registers. Due to limitations in space, appointments are recommended for those wishing to use tithe maps. Microfilms can be booked either by telephone (see Contact Us for details) or using an online form (see Doing It Online).

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Question: Is there a charge for using the Office?

Answer: Access to the Record Office is free. Charges are made for copying documents and for our Research Service. - Related Link

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Question: What do I need to bring with me?

Answer: You should bring pencils, rubber, paper, notes detailing any previous research, reference numbers for documents previously consulted which need further investigation, money for photocopies, and identification if you wish to obtain a C.A.R.N ticket. Note: a C.A.R.N. ticket is a County Archive Research Network ticket. It is free, valid for 4 years, and provides access to any record office that belongs to the Research Network. Some proof of identification is required to obtain the ticket (eg. driving licence, utility bill) - Related Link

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Question: Can I bring my laptop?

Answer: Because of limitations of space, visitors are requested to make an appointment before bringing in their laptop.

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Question: How do I find the Record Office?

Answer: The Record Office is situated at 26 Hillside, Newport. See link below for map. BY CAR FROM RYDE & EAST COWES: As you approach Newport, along Fairlee Road, you will pass Seaclose Park on the right. Shortly afterwards you will see a petrol station, followed by a cemetery, both on the right hand side. There is then a row of terrace houses and at the end of these, opposite some advertising hoardings, you will find a turning on the right - this is Hillside. The Office is about 20 yards along Hillside, set back on the left, just before the road starts to drop steeply. BY CAR FROM WEST COWES: Approach Newport along Medina Way. Immediately after crossing the River Medina, take the slip road on the left at the first set of traffic lights, signposted East Cowes and Ryde. Soon afterwards you emerge onto Fairlee Road. You will see a speed camera sign and soon afterwards, opposite some advertising hoardings, there is turning on the left - this is Hillside. The Office is about 20 yards along Hillside, set back on the left, just before the road starts to drop steeply. BY CAR FROM NEWPORT: Make your way to Coppins Bridge roundabout and take the exit leading to East Cowes and Ryde. A few yards after taking this exit you will reach a set of traffic lights, to the left of which is a slip road leading to West Cowes. Continue to follow the signs to East Cowes and Ryde. You will see a speed camera sign and shortly afterwards, opposite some advertising hoardings, there is a turning on the left - this is Hillside. The Office is about 20 yards along Hillside, set back on the left, just before the road starts to drop steeply. BY FOOT FROM THE BUS STATION: The Record Office is about a 15 minute walk from the bus station in Newport. You will need to cross South Street and make your way to the High Street via St Thomas's Square. You should see the Guildhall on the corner of Quay Street. Walk down to the end of Quay Street and you will reach the Quay. Walk along the Quay under the flyover with the river to the left of you. Pass the Riverside Centre and then bear right leaving the Quay. You will see a steep road; this is Hillside and the Record Office is at the top of the road. (Note: some buses from East Cowes and Ryde stop along Fairlee Road and Staplers.) - Related Link

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Question: Does the Record Office close for lunch?

Answer: Yes. The Record Office is closed for lunch between 12.25pm and 1pm daily. - Related Link

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Question: Do you provide photocopies of documents?

Answer: Photocopies in either black and white or colour can be made subject to the document's physical condition and copyright regulations. It is also possible to print copies from material held on microfilm/fiche. Where documents cannot be copied because it would damage them to do so, it is possible to make an appointment to take a digital image using your own equipment. For charges see web link below. - Related Link

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Question: Is there parking available at the Record Office?

Answer: There is parking available at the Record Office, but the number of spaces is limited. If all the spaces are taken, you can park nearby at the Quay (Note: access is closed on Tuesdays - market day). There are also several car parks within the town centre. DISABLED DRIVERS are advised to ring beforehand to reserve a parking space at the Record Office. - Related Link

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Question: Can you undertake research on my behalf?

Answer: Yes, the Record Office undertakes research for those who are not able to visit in person. The charge is £22.00 for a one hour search of documents held by the Office. There are also several private record agents working on the Isle of Wight, and a list of these is available on request. Where we believe a search is beyond the resources of the Office, we reserve the right to refer you to this list. Details of our Research Service and charges are available via the link - Related Link

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Question: What arrangements are there for visits by school students?

Answer: The Record Office does not have an education room, and can only accommodate visits by individual students. Those setting projects are asked to contact Record Office staff in advance to ensure that the subject chosen is one with which the Office can help.

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