This service is designed for people who cannot visit us in person but who have particular questions they would like answering using archive material at the Borthwick, and also for those who have visited but have not had time to complete their research. We will undertake research in a wide variety of our archives but we do not offer research of material held in other archives. Neither do we use subscription genealogical web sites, with the exception of Origins.net who offer on-line access to many of our probate indexes.
If you would like us to search for information in the archives we hold please print out the Research request (PDF , 166kb) pages, fill them in, and return them to us with the minimum fee (£15.00). You can also email us or phone us (01904) 321166 about your enquiry, but note that we will need payment from you before we can start work.
If you would like us to transcribe or translate copies of documents you have received from us, or have looked at on a visit, please print out the Application for Transcription or Translation (PDF , 118kb) form. Note that you must sign and return this form before we can begin this work.
We tackle requests on a first come, first served basis. We try to complete all requests within 20 working days, but we can get extremely busy sometimes and results may take longer. On some occasions we may complete a initial part of your research and the write to you with the interim results, and request further information or instruction from you before continuing.
Please address all research requests to the Research Service, Borthwick Institute, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, email our searchrooms at email@example.com or telephone us on (01904) 321160. Please do not address your letter to an individual member of staff or use an individual’s email address unless you have been asked to do so. If communications are sent to individuals it may cause a delay to your research.
Standard research is charged at a rate of £30 per hour, the minimum charge being £15.00, which covers the first half hour's research. All research requests must be accompanied by a cheque for £15.00, or if you prefer you can ring or email us for a reference code so you can pay by credit card on-line. Please do not send any more than this unless you have been asked to do so by a member of staff. We will bill you in arrears for any additional you owe us.
English transcription is available at the rate of £30.00 per hour. Latin transcription costs £50.00 per hour. If you would like any of our archives transcribing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an estimate. Please note, that due to time constraints on staff, we are not able to transcribe documents held by other archives.
We can only accept payment in £UK. If you are living outside the UK we recommend paying us by credit card and this can be done through our secure on-line shop.
Staff take all possible care with research requests, but due to the size and format of archives, mistakes or omissions may occasionally be made. If you think a mistake has been made please write again to the research service, outlining what you think the problem is, or ring (01904) 321166 and ask to speak to the person who completed your research; we will do everything we can to sort it out. If you are not satisfied with your reply please write to the Office Manager at the Borthwick. For more information about access to information held by the University of York consult our Freedom of Information pages.
It is your responsibility to be as specific as possible about the information you are searching for, and specific about the records you would like to be searched. A good research request might request a search of the parish records of Acomb, for all those people with the surname Hodgson, between 1700-1750. A poor research request would ask for all the information about the Hodgson family who lived around Acomb. The latter is such a huge, nebulous, task that we could not guarantee to complete.
Neither can we complete your family history for you. This service will only help you if you have an idea of how you would conduct your research, and what you would be trying to find out, if you were able to visit us in person.
No. We will undertake all sorts of research in our records, not just family history. Please email us at email@example.com or ring (01904) 321166 and talk to us if you would like to discuss your research before applying.