What is our catalogue?

This on-line catalogue acts as a kind of ‘travel brochure’, offering a way of browsing our database which contains written descriptions of the original archives we hold. However, like any good brochure, we hope it will also whet your appetite to visit us in person.

The catalogue describes records held within the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives. They not currently available to view online. They are available to view in person at our facility in Chippenham or, for a fee, we may be able to provide you with a digital or hard copy. Please contact us for more details.

What do we have in our collections?

Wiltshire and Swindon Archives is the county record office for the lieutenancy county of Wiltshire (including the borough of Swindon). We are funded by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council working in partnership. Our holdings date back to the 12th century, and include local government records; court records and records created by other official bodies; records of religious organisations including Salisbury Diocese; charity records; family and estate records; business records; and collections from private individuals and voluntary organisations.

Are all our collections included in the catalogue?

It should be noted that the catalogue is far from complete. This catalogue dates back to 2007 and there is an on-going programme of retroconversion to add collections catalogued previously. In addition, not everything may be catalogued yet, or it may be considered confidential. If you do not find what you are looking for it is worth contacting us to find out if it exists but is simply not yet available on the catalogue. You may also find that the National Archives ‘Discovery’ catalogue contains material not yet included in our catalogues but please note that we are adding material to our own catalogues all the time whereas the ‘Discovery’ pages have not been updated in over a decade.

Catalogue structure

The catalogue is based on an archival hierarchical classification scheme whereby records are grouped into various series according to their source of acquisition into the collections. This means that records relating to a single subject will often be spread across different series, and furthermore, that one series may contain many different types of records and subjects. It is rare that all records belonging to a particular series will be relevant to a single topic of research and therefore it is important to always look at individual file and item level records and make decisions about relevance based upon those, rather than just on the series level description. When contacting us about records please use the item level reference number.

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