Author Topic: Ordering documents from Kew  (Read 787 times)

Online pinefamily

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Ordering documents from Kew
« on: Wednesday 13 March 19 22:18 GMT (UK) »
I have never had cause to order copies of documents from Kew before. In the past, I have downloaded wills and other digitized documents. I have ordered copies from other archives over the years, always at reasonable cost.
Imagine my surprise when I read that there was a non-refundable charge of £8.40 just to see if the documents were in a fit state to be copied.
Highway robbery comes to mind.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

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Online goldie61

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 23:41 GMT (UK) »

Highway robbery comes to mind.

Ditto.
One of those places it's much better to visit if you can, as I believe it's free to take as many photos of things as you like.  (unfortunately I can't get there.  wish I could. :( )
Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
Cochran, Nicol, Paton, Bruce:Scotland. Bertolle:London
Bainbridge, Christman, Jeffs: Staffs

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Online pinefamily

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 23:51 GMT (UK) »
It's hard to get there from Australia too.  :)
Yes, it is a bit rich, especially as then they will charge for copying and postage (if it's not available via email). A small fee I can live with, but this is unreasonable in my opinion.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 14 March 19 04:38 GMT (UK) »
I frequently order custom copies from TNA.  I have never had a Page Check Request return a negative outcome.  No doubt it happens occasionally but it isn't common.

Everything I have ordered in recent years has been dispatched digitally.

One pays for the Page Check Request, then when it is complete and positive one pays a further charge to perform the copying.

As the Page Check Request charge is subtracted from the total copying charge this further charge is usually negligible.

For example, for a typical single page Chancery Bill or Inquisition Post Mortem the second charge is around two pounds.

No charges are made for digital delivery.

It's really no big deal.  I imagine they introduced the Page Check charge to discourage people from making large numbers of speculative enquiries.

The documents at TNA are an incredible resource.  I don't believe their charges are unreasonable, given the work involved at their end.


Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 14 March 19 11:07 GMT (UK) »
I wouldn't think £8.40 was unreasonable for staff time involved - the documents have to be retrieved from storage (some are not on site but are in a salt mine in Cheshire, for example) and then for an inspection, followed by re-shelving.
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline diplodicus

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 14 March 19 14:42 GMT (UK) »
I agree with GrahamSimons, it is a small charge given the time a search would involve. Less than an hour at minimum wage??
Thomas, Davies, Jones, Walters, Daniel in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. That should narrow it down a bit!
Vincent: Fressingfield, Suffolk, Stockton & Sunderland.
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Online pinefamily

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 14 March 19 22:47 GMT (UK) »
Horsleydown86, are you saying the £8.40 comes off the end cost? When I read the fees page, it gave the impression otherwise. Hence my dismay.
I have to disagree about the fee being reasonable. These are archivists who are paid to look after the documents and to respond to enquiries. If the fee is deducted from the total cost then perhaps it is more reasonable. If it is not, then I stand by my remarks of highway robbery.
For people from afar, with no chance of going in person, it is unreasonable.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #7 on: Friday 15 March 19 04:25 GMT (UK) »
Horsleydown86, are you saying the £8.40 comes off the end cost? When I read the fees page, it gave the impression otherwise. Hence my dismay.
I have to disagree about the fee being reasonable. These are archivists who are paid to look after the documents and to respond to enquiries. If the fee is deducted from the total cost then perhaps it is more reasonable. If it is not, then I stand by my remarks of highway robbery.
For people from afar, with no chance of going in person, it is unreasonable.

I agree that the 2019 fee sheet doesn't say the Page Check Request charge is subtracted from the copying.

My recollection is that when the Page Check charge came in a few years back that it was subtracted.

I've looked through My Orders to see if I can clarify this but the history doesn't go back far enough.

I apologize for giving you wrong information in relation to present conditions.

However, I am in Australia and don't think a total of 9.60 GBP for a research quality A3 image is at all excessive.

The copying service at TNA has to be staffed;  the imaging equipment has to be funded and so on.

Offline Sloe Gin

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Re: Ordering documents from Kew
« Reply #8 on: Friday 15 March 19 11:45 GMT (UK) »
Horsleydown86, are you saying the £8.40 comes off the end cost? When I read the fees page, it gave the impression otherwise. Hence my dismay.
I have to disagree about the fee being reasonable. These are archivists who are paid to look after the documents and to respond to enquiries. If the fee is deducted from the total cost then perhaps it is more reasonable. If it is not, then I stand by my remarks of highway robbery.
For people from afar, with no chance of going in person, it is unreasonable.
And where do you think the money for their wages comes from?  And the money for all the other overheads? 
It costs a lot to provide these services, and it seems fair to me that some of the cost is borne by people who actually use them.
UK census content is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk  Transcriptions are my own.