Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Northamptonshire Council to impose outrageous archive charges

There has been what can only be described as a fairly outrageous development in England this week with regard to access to archives, in that Northamptonshire County Council has decided to restrict free access to its archives collections from August 21st to Tuesday-Thursday monrings, and a handful Saturdays throughout the year - and to impose a whopping sized charge of £31.50 per hour for access at other times.

Here is the announcement from the archive's Facebook page at

Important Information: From 21 August 2017, opening times for free access to the Archives Service will be as follows:

• Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9am to 1pm
• First Saturday of the month only, April - October: 9am to 4pm

The times during which researchers can visit the Archives Service are being increased. Appointments can now be booked, in advance and for a fee, to view original documents during the following times. The current fee is £31.50 per hour.

• Monday & Friday: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm
• Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 2pm - 4pm

1-1 personal consultations can also be booked in advance for an hourly fee during the following times:

• Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm

A subsequent post made today (Wednesday) states "A further statement about the changes to opening hours will be made tomorrow."

Such a charges regime will surely be damaging to the archive - who is going to pay £31.50 an hour to view its holdings? Clearly a MAJOR rethink is in order here.

A petition condeming the announcement and asking the archive to go home and think again is available at - please do sign. If this sets a precedent, it will cause unlimited damage to the field of family history research, and I would venture, hit academic research hard also.

(With thanks to Vivienne Dunstan via Facebook)


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1 comment:

  1. This is an outrageous fee! That will be end of my Northhamptonshire research.