Whether you need advice about your archives, can’t find what you’re looking for on our catalogue, or need more information about our collections, we are always happy to help and advise.

General enquiries

If you have a query about our holdings, want to make an appointment to view documents or have questions about our services, then please let us know. It’s best to email us with your request but you can also give us a call on 01904 552800. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 15 working days.

Specific enquiries

If you are looking for something specific in our records (e.g. to confirm details you already know) we offer a free 15 minute ‘look-up’ service. Again, it’s best to email us with your request, but you can also send a letter, give us a call on 01904 552800 or send a quick question via Twitter. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 15 working days.

If you enquire via email you will receive an acknowledgement with an enquiry number, which you should quote in any future messages.  If we are unable to complete your enquiry within 15 days, we will contact you to update you on its progress.

Viewing the register of electors

(also known as the electoral register or electoral roll)

We hold full (unedited) electoral registers [1832-present] and open (edited) registers [2014-present]. If you would like to consult any of the electoral registers, please make an appointment to visit our Archives Reading Room, specifying the type of register (full or open) and the year/s. Researchers need to be aware that there are some gaps in our collections, please email us or give us a call on 01904 552800 and our staff will provide further details. The national collection of electoral registers is held at the British Library.

Anyone may consult the current full electoral register for electoral purposes, namely, to check their own entry or to object to an entry. Other full registers may be consulted for research purposes.

Please note that in accordance with regulation 109 (A) of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations, 2001,  the following access restrictions apply to any full electoral register that is 10 years old or less:

  • the register is open to public inspection, under supervision
  • extracts from the register may be recorded only by making handwritten notes (no laptops)
  • photocopying or electronic recording, photography or scanning is not permitted
  • information taken from the register must not be used for direct marketing purposes unless the information has been published in the edited (open)version of the register
  • archive/library staff are not permitted to convey information from the register via email or telephone

Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and could be fined up to £5000.

If you wish to purchase a copy of the open (edited) register, please contact Electoral Services at the City of York Council.

Complex research enquiries

For more in-depth enquiries, we offer a paid research service. This is charged at £15 per half hour (maximum time half an hour). Please email us for further information on this service and for a copy of our Paid Research enquiry form, or ask when you next visit.

For more extensive enquiries that would take longer than half an hour to complete, we suggest you search online for recommended independent researchers who can carry out a search of the records on your behalf for a fee.

Digital copies

We can provide you with digital copies of items, including our microfilm collections, by email. You can use them for private study, research or commercial publications, but please be precise in your request (including, for example, the newspaper title and date of publication required). There is a fee for this service. See our fees and charges page for details.

Other services

We also offer a range of other services, including an English transcription service (of our documents or your own), archival consultancy, training workshops, tours of the archive, talks and certified copies of documents. You can find more information about these services on our fees and charges page, or please contact us for further details.