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Guidance Notes

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These notes should help you complete the on-line application form, for requests for research from the Cumbria Archive Service’s Historical Research Service. The notes include details of our policy towards request cancellations and refunds. We recommend you save a copy of your request details (particularly if lengthy/detailed) in a word processing application or similar BEFORE you complete the application form. This will allow you to resubmit or email your details to us in case of any problems with the online payment process.

Form sections: Application Form and Billing Address

In order that we can process your research request and send our findings to you we ask that you supply us with standard personal details and contact information.

The billing address is the address to which your payment card is registered. If this differs from the address to which you would like us to send your research report to, please indicate this on the form and complete the billing address page. 

Your billing address details will then be sent to the payments engine and will be used when the system makes payment authorisation enquiries and subsequently takes a payment from your card.

Which payment cards do we support?

You can pay on-line using credit or debit card. We accept Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Switch, Solo and JCB. We use the Barclaycard’s ePDQ secure system to make sure that your payment is safe. Cumbria Archive Service has no access to your card details.

Form section: Research Request

Researchers will conduct a minimum of 1 hour, increasing in ½ hour periods to a maximum of 5 hours. Rates indicated on the form are subject to change and all prices include VAT and postage and packaging. You are required to select the maximum amount of time that you wish our researchers to spend on your request.

How much Research Time should I request?

If you are unsure how much search time to request, initially pay for a minimum 1 hour search and indicate on your request (in the free text box later in the application) that you would like to receive advice on whether it is possible to proceed further. 

Our experienced researchers will do their best to suggest further sources for study if they are unable to answer all elements of your request within the time allotted. You can then commission a further period of research, if interested.

Refunds of partially used time will usually be held as credit so it will be in your own best interests to request an appropriate amount of time. You could email the appropriate Archive Centre to check whether they do hold the records you need to have searched before you make your decision but this will mean you have to come back to complete this application at a later date. 

Full refunds would only be issued in circumstances where research requests prove unfeasible. However, refunds will be issued at the discretion of the service. You are liable for any research that is undertaken, even for research that does not produce positive results. Once payment is submitted requests can not be cancelled.

If you seek further assistance with this aspect of your application please contact one of our Archive Centres. Contact details are available at the end of this document.

How long will it take to receive my Research Findings? 

Due to the popularity of the service, there will be a delay of several weeks before you receive your report. The delays vary depending on which Archive Centre undertakes your research. Enquiries are answered in the order they are received. 

Once your e-payment has been processed, the office to which you have submitted your request will contact you within 10 working days with an up-to-date assessment of when your research work will be undertaken and your full report will be sent as quickly as possible after this time but subject to the time delay outlined.

Form sections: Your instructions and Request Completion

What should I put in my Instructions?

Please tell us what you wish to find out; what are your specific priorities? It would be helpful to tell us which sources you have already searched, whether in a record office or on the internet, and the information you already have discovered. This will help us avoid spending time duplicating searches. If your research request has a number of elements, please prioritise them.

For Family History  searches,  please provide approximate dates and the name of the parish(es)/place(s) you wish to consult. If you know the family’s religion, an indication of that could also help.

For Property History searches, it would be helpful if you could supply a map of the property or supply an Ordnance Survey grid reference.

If you have supporting material that you would like to send to us to help us with your research you are able to send this via email, post or facsimile. Please send it to the appropriate Archive Centre, quoting the reference you will receive once you have completed the application form.

The contact information for all Cumbria Archive Centres is available at the end of this document. We recommend you save a copy of your request details (particularly if lengthy/detailed) in a word processing application or similar BEFORE you complete the application form. This will allow you to resubmit or email your details to us in case of any problems with the online payment process.

Where should I send my Research Request?

Barrow -South west Cumbria, the Furness area, formerly Lancashire North of the Sands. The areas around Barrow-in-Furness, Dalton-in-Furness, Ulverston, and Kirkby Ireleth are amongst those for which material is available.

Carlisle- North and east Cumbria that was in the former county of Cumberland to the north of the River Derwent. The areas around Carlisle, Keswick, Penrith, Wigton, Maryport and Cumberland adjacent to the Scottish border are amongst those for which material is available.

Kendal- South east Cumbria comprising the former county of Westmorland, and also some for the Sedbergh-Dent district (formerly in the West Riding of Yorkshire) and for the Cartmel district (formerly in Lancashire North of the Sands). The areas around Kendal, Windermere, Beetham, Kirkby Stephen, Kirkby Lonsdale, and Appleby are amongst those for which material is available.

Whitehaven-West Cumbria, formerly in the historic county of Cumberland, bounded by the River Derwent in the North and the River Duddon in the South. The areas around Workington, Cockermouth, Whitehaven, St Bees, Bootle, Eskdale and Muncaster are amongst those for which material is available.

Form sections: Verify Request & Submit

The final part of the application form asks that you confirm the details that you have entered are accurate. You are able to use the ‘back’ button at the bottom of the page to review the information that you are submitting.


In all correspondence with us regarding your research request please quote your unique reference code.

Cumbria Archive and Local Studies Centre, Barrow
140 Duke Street
LA14 1XW
Tel:01229 407377
Fax:01229 894364 

Cumbria Archive Centre, Carlisle
Petteril Bank House
Petteril Bank Road
Tel:01228 227285 or 227284
Fax:01228 707274 

Cumbria Archive Centre, Kendal
County Offices
Tel:01539 713540 or 713539
Fax:01539 773538 

Cumbria Archive and Local Studies Centre,  Whitehaven
Scotch Street
CA28 7NL
Tel:01946 506420 Fax:01946 852919