Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Book Icon

Research service

✵ Christmas is coming! Don't miss the Magical Middlesbrough parade this Sunday from 1pm. ✵

We can carry out most types of research, including local history, the history of a business, house, or building, and some family history enquiries. The majority of basic family history enquiries should be sent to your local reference library.

For more information on baptism, marriage, and burial records in Teesside, please check the researching family history section.

Your research requests should be as specific as possible. For example, we can't help with a request about 'the Smith family of Middlesbrough' or 'the economic growth of Stockton', but we might be able to help if you ask for information on John Smith, born c.1885 in St Hilda's, or ask for information about a particular local company or ship.

As well as providing a research service, we can also provide copies of some documents either as photocopies or watermarked scans. If you've found a document you're interested in but you can't visit us in person, please send us an initial enquiry with the details so we can check whether it can be copied. We can only copy documents up to A3 size.

It's not always possible to find or verify information due to the nature of the records, and while we make every effort to provide accurate and complete information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Initial enquiry

Before you request and pay for research or copies of documents, you'll need to contact us with your initial enquiry so we can check whether we have any relevant records.

You can search our catalogues using the National Archives Discovery Catalogue. Please make a note of the reference numbers for any documents you'd like us to include in your research, or which you'd like copies of. Please note, not all of our collections are fully catalogued, and we can also help you to identify relevant records which may not yet be in our online catalogue.

You can make an initial enquiry by emailing teesside_archives@middlesbrough.gov.uk or calling 01642 248321.

Once we've confirmed that we have records relevant to your research, you can request and pay for a search.

Please note:

  • If you pay for research without making an initial enquiry first, we will not refund your fee if we're unable to complete the research due to records not being available.
  • All research is provided for private research purposes only. If you want to publish any of the information provided - for example in a publication, book, website, social media, video etc. - you'll need to contact us to get a licence. Additional fees may apply.

Research service: simple searches - up to 30 minutes

An experienced member of staff will carry out your research and provide a basic research report including copies (either by post or email) of relevant documents where possible. A simple search (up to 30 minutes) of specific sources costs £15 including VAT.

Once we've received your request, we aim to respond within 10 working days. If you've asked for your research report and any copies to be sent by post, please allow an extra 5 days for delivery.

Research sources

Specific sources that we can search include, but are not limited to:

  • General Register Office indexes of births, marriages, and deaths (this will provide the details needed to order a certificate, and give you the year and quarter of the event)
  • church records (please consult our guides to parish registers before requesting)
  • court records (please note, recent court registers are closed for 30 years under the Data Protection Act 1998)
  • ship registration
  • council minutes

Copies of research sources

Where possible, your research report will include a photocopy, print, or watermarked scan of the entry. You can choose from the following options:

  • black and white photocopies or prints - up to 6 single-sided A4 sheets, or 3 single-sided A3 sheets
  • colour photocopies or prints - up to 2 single-sided A4 sheets, or 1 single-sided A3 sheet
  • watermarked scan - up to 4 images

Costs

  • up to 30 minutes - £15

Pay for research

The quickest way is to pay for your research services.

Please note, all research and copies of documents are for private research purposes only. If you want to publish any of the information provided - for example, in a publication, book, website, social media, video etc. - you'll need to contact us to get a licence. Additional charges may apply.

Research service: complex research enquiries - up to 3 hours

An experienced member of staff will carry out your research and provide a full research report including copies (either by post or email) of relevant documents where possible.

The charge is £30 per hour or part of an hour (minimum 1 hour), including VAT. The maximum amount of research we can undertake is 3 hours. When we respond to your initial enquiry (see above), we'll be able to give you an idea of how long we expect your research to take.

Complex research enquiries may take up to 15 working days to complete, and we carry out searches in the order that they're received. If you've asked for your research report and any copies to be sent to you by post, please allow an extra 5 days for delivery.

Copies of research sources

Where possible, your research report will include a photocopy, print, or watermarked scan of the entry. You can choose from the following options:

  • black and white photocopies or prints - up to 12 single-sided A4 sheets, or 6 single-sided A3 sheets
  • colour photocopies or prints - up to 4 single-sided A4 sheets, or 2 single-sided A3 sheets
  • watermarked scan - up to 8 images

Costs

  • 1 hour - £30
  • 1 hour 30 minutes - £45
  • 2 hours - £60
  • 2 hours 30 minutes - £75
  • 3 hours - £100

Additional charges

Extra fees will be charged for:

  • extra photocopies or other reprographic service charges (please see our list of fees and charges)
  • reproduction fees for using images or quotes in publications, on the internet, or in broadcasts
  • scans or digital images without a watermark
  • extra postage and packing

Pay for research services

The quickest way is to pay for your research services.

Please note, all research and copies of documents are for private research purposes only. If you want to publish any of the information provided - for example, in a publication, book, website, social media, video etc. - you'll need to contact us to get a licence. Additional charges may apply.

Ordering copies of documents

If you've found a document you're interested in viewing but you can't visit in person, we may be able to provide a photocopy or watermarked scan of the document, up to A3 size. Not all documents are suitable to be photocopied or scanned so please send us an initial enquiry including the document reference and title (e.g. U/S/76 Lease for property in Stockton) to get confirmation before you pay. If you choose photocopies, we can recommend whether black and white or colour copies would be suitable.

Your quote will include:

  • staff time at £6.30 per 15 minutes
  • black and white A4 copies at 20p, A3 copies 30p
  • colour A4 copies at 60p, A3 copies at 80p
  • postage and packing if applicable

We aim to respond to your enquiry within 15 working days. If you've asked for your copies to be sent to you by post, please allow an extra 5 days for delivery.

Pay for documents

The quickest way is to pay for your documents online.

Please note, all research and copies of documents are for private research purposes only. If you want to publish any of the information provided - for example, in a publication, book, website, social media, video etc. - you'll need to contact us to get a licence. Additional charges may apply.