Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?

Searching will only find exact matches of the words used in the catalogue, so if you haven’t found what you want it’s often best to try several related terms. Think laterally. Also consider using wildcard searching (*). More information on wildcard searching can be found in the How to search section.

It is also possible that the item you require isn’t yet catalogued so please contact us if you want to double-check this.

How do I access the documents I’ve found in the catalogue?

Please see: http://www.wshc.org.uk/visiting-the-centre.html

It is always advisable to contact us in advance of your visit to check that the item you wish to see is available and not being conserved or lent to an exhibition. It is also advisable to contact us if you intend to use large maps as we have only limited space to consult these.

Can I get a copy of material in the collections?

Copying is normally possible either by photocopying or by digital photography but charges will apply. Please see our website (www.wshc.org.uk) for details of our charges.

How can I get more detail about the records in my search results list?

To find out more information about records in your search results list click on any part of the relevant entry and the full record description will display. You can then click on the X symbol to view the catalogue hierarchy and browse other related records. For further help with searching the catalogue, click on the How to search tab on the left hand side of this page.

Why are some reference numbers missing, i.e. not sequential?

Some records are closed for various reasons. These records will not be available to you online. Some records have been deaccessioned over time and no longer exist.

Why can’t I see an image of the document online?

The catalogue only contains descriptions of the documents in our archive and not digitised images of them at present. Digital images of documents useful for family history, such as parish register entries and wills, will be available separately via the Ancestry website in due course.

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