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Archives held in the National Archives

Records on microform

While many of the records and archives held by the National Archives are in textual form, there is also a rich variety of documents in other media, such as microfilm, microfiche, photographs, audiovisual material, maps, plans and drawings.


Some of our most frequently consulted records have been microfilmed to ensure their continued preservation and to facilitate access to the information by the public. There are 17 self-service microform (microfilm and microfiche) readers in the Reading Room upon which records available on microform can be consulted.


To consult records on microform, readers are requested to do the following:


  • Obtain the microfilm reference number for the material required using the finding aids in both the Reading Room and the Microfilm Room which is situated just off the Reading Room;
  • The finding aid in the Microfilm Room states the cabinet and drawer number of the relevant microfilm;
  • The reader takes the film from the drawer and brings it to the desk in the Microfilm Room where it is scanned out by the member of staff;
  • The reader then loads the film onto the microfilm reader in the Reading Room;
  • When finished consulting the film, the reader then returns it to the desk in the Microfilm Room where the member of staff scans it back in and replaces it in its drawer;
  • Readers are limited to one film at a time.


Readers can purchase copies of microfilmed pages using the 8 self-service microform reader-printers in the Reading Room and for details on copying costs, please consult the Microform section in Obtain copies of records.