An English Heritage catalogue describing more than a million historical photographs and documents relating to England’s historic buildings and archaeological sites is now on-line – although you have to pay for the documents.
The details of the wealth of historical material the archive holds – images, plans, drawings, reports and publications covering England’s archaeology, architecture, social and local history – is held on a database which can now be accessed at the website below. Until now, searches had to be carried out in person at the public search rooms in Swindon.
You have to register to use the website, which is free. What you get is a description of each catalogue item and a percentage of it is illustrated. To buy a copy of the document you have to order it. Prices range from 34p for a photocopy to £17.63 for a full-size permatrace. Reports cost £5 up to 25 pages, £10 for 25-50 pages and £15 for more than50 pages.
It is not the most user-friendly site you will ever have encountered and you have to place the order before you find out the prices, which are emailed to you, which is all a bit laborious and will deter all but serious enquiries. It might even deter some of the serious enquiries.
If you cannot figure out the ordering process you can contact the English Heritage Enquiry & Research Service on 01793 414600 or try emailing [email protected] to place an order or ask for help if you cannot find what they are looking for.