Lincolnshire Archives

About the Lincolnshire Archives

We provide access to resources that can be used to research history and culture in Lincolnshire.

You can use our search room to consult:

  • original archives
  • microfilm resources
  • library material relating to the county

We hold records from the former Lindsey, Kesteven and Holland county councils. We also hold records from Lincoln Diocesan Record Office.

We have collections of national and international significance, such as the Bishops Rolls and Registers. These date from 1214 and form the core historical records of the diocese of Lincoln.

Our search room is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday and the first Saturday of each month. Saturday openings may change due to Bank Holidays.

We have a free car park to the rear of the building. Spaces are limited and can be used for the duration of your visit only. Please register your vehicle registration number at reception and obtain the code required to exit.

We do not have an on-site cafe, but there are several cafes within easy walking distance of our convenient city centre location.

View Lincolnshire Archives online catalogue

What you can find in the archives

Primary sources include:

  • ecclesiastical archives and parish records (Church of England), including:
    • registers of baptisms
    • marriages and burials
    • Banns Books
    • Overseer of the Poor records
    • Bishops' transcripts
    • tithe and enclosure
  • non-conformist records (for example, Methodist, Quaker etc)
  • Poor Law Union, or workhouse, records
  • electoral registers
  • wills and administrations
  • Lincolnshire Estate records
  • public records, including manorial and court records
  • local authority records, including parish councils and school records
  • drainage and court sewer records
  • asylum hospital records

Secondary sources and indexes include:

  • Foster library, including county directories, historical journals and parish histories
  • Census records
  • birth, marriage or death records
  • Lincolnshire Family History Society indexes

View Lincolnshire Archives online catalogue

Book archive resources

We recommend that you book our search room in advance.

You can order up to six documents in advance of your visit. You must provide us with the full reference for each document. You can find these on our online catalogue.  There are two document collections per day (one per Saturday). These take place at 11am and 12.30pm. You can order up to four documents per collection. Documents ordered on the day will be provided by 12.30pm (first collection) and 2pm (second collection). The Saturday collection will be taken at 11am and documents will be provided by 12.30pm.

Our search room is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday and the first Saturday of each month.  Saturday openings may change due to Bank Holidays. 

Document requests must be submitted in advance by 2pm the previous working day. For Tuesday visits, advance document requests should be submitted by 2pm the previous Friday.

To enter the search room you need a Lincolnshire Archives Readers' Ticket.

You can get one of these on arrival by bringing with you some identification showing your address and signature.

The ticket is valid for four years.

To book a table within the search room and order up to a maximum of six documents in advance email

You will need to include within your email:

  • your name
  • date of visit
  • estimated time of arrival
  • contact telephone number

You can also call 01522 782040 and ask to speak to the search room staff.

Inside the search room

You may take notepads smaller than A4, pencils, sheets of paper, glasses, maps, charts and reference books.

You are not allowed to take in food, drink, pens, bags, coats, folders, files or plastic wallets.

Lockers are provided for belongings and phones must be put on silent.


Our facilities include:

  • a fully accessible search room
  • a bookable height adjustable table
  • magnifying glasses
  • an induction-hearing loop at reception
  • an accessible toilet
  • assistance dogs permitted in all areas of the search room

Your visit

Please do not visit if you display any COVID symptoms.

Hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities are available.

Fees and charges

Our staff reply to general enquiries about the archives and library material free of charge.

There is no charge for using the search room resources other than the self-service microfiche and computer print-outs.

Museum collection and archives enquiries and research

This service is offered by pre-payment only.

  • General Enquiries (E0) - free for up to 20 minutes
    If longer than 20 minutes then our research charge applies.  This is subject to available resources and capacity.  General enquiries includes a member of staff responding to a request for basic information (for example a request for reference numbers, confirmation of holdings) that are easily searchable via the finding aids available to them and within the allotted time. It does not include requests for detailed advice about catalogues and, or holdings, nor does it include looking at original documents and requests for more detailed information of any kind. These types of requests are chargeable within the relevant research enquiry category as described below. 
  • Research enquiry (E1) - £22 per half hour
    This includes a member of the collections team checking and providing research information on behalf of a user, including looking at original documents on behalf of a user. 
  • Managed access to stored collections or assisted research (E2) - £52.50 per hour
    Any preparation time needed for accessing collections is also chargeable at the hourly rate shown. For example booking access to stored collections, or archival material which is not accessible to book via the search room (access restrictions allowing), facilitated by a member of the collections team, outside regular free managed access days (see details below) or staff assisted research onsite.  A minimum lead time of two working weeks is required.  Please contact us in advance to discuss available dates.  Your request may require you to travel to a particular site(s) across the county, depending upon where the items requested are stored. The collections team offer free managed access to stored collections during arranged monthly access days, in which you can book 30 minute slots.
  • Advice and guidance (third party) - £73 per hour plus mileage at 45 pence per mile
    Any necessary preparation time is chargeable at the hourly rate shown.  For example staff provision of professional advice and guidance for third-parties on site or outreach at your venue or meeting place. Bespoke requests are subject to availability and preparation charges for sessions apply. Please contact us to discuss availability around your requirements.

Reprographics and copying services

  • Self service in search room microfiche print-outs (A4, black and white): £1.30 per sheet
  • Camera pass (images taken for personal use only): £13.50 per day, £41 per week, £127 per year, £262.50 per year for constituted groups - named lists to be provided of members
  • Provision of baptism certificates: £18
  • Certification or copies: £13
  • Supply: collection in person – free during archives regular opening hours, postage – price on application

Digital photography orders (staff facilitated)

These charges apply to our normal response time of completing orders within 28 days.

Where we receive a request for a rush order, prices are three times standard charge, subject to the availability of staff.

  • Minimum order (applies to all orders): £6.50
  • Copy of existing digital image: £3.50
  • Creation of a new digital image: £7 per order, plus £7.50 per shot for documents up to A2 or £10.50 per shot over A2.
  • Supply of digital images: £2.10 per email order (large orders may require more than one email)

Paper prints (staff facilitated), digital image prints, photocopies and microfilm or microfiche

These charges apply to our normal response time of completing orders within 28 days.

Where we receive a request for a rush order, prices are three times standard charge, subject to the availability of staff.

  • Minimum order (applies to all orders): £6.50
  • Creation of copies: document handling and preparation fee per order £7, black and white up to A3 £3, colour up to A3 £3.20
  • Supply of printed images: collection in person is free during opening hours.  Postage is available - price on application.

Publications and reproductions

Books, e-books and CDs (per image, per use)

  • Non-profit local publications (Lincolnshire residents): £47
  • Non-profit local publications (non-Lincolnshire residents): £94.50
  • Commercial publications: £189

Newspapers and magazines (per image, per use)

  • Non-profit publications (Lincolnshire residents): £73.50
  • Non-profit publications (non-Lincolnshire residents): £126
  • Commercial publications: £231

Commercial use for posters, advertising, merchandise, internal decoration (per image)

  • Image per use or per edition: £304.50

Digital use only including websites and social media (per image)

  • Non-profit publications (Lincolnshire residents): £47.50
  • Non-profit publications (non-Lincolnshire residents): £94.50
  • Commercial publications: £189

Broadcasting (television or film, per image)

  • Regional (East Midlands): £126
  • Non-regional: £357

Displays and exhibitions (up to A3 size) (per image)

Free entry (non-profit) exhibitions and events (including talks and lectures) (including promotion):

  • temporary (under six months duration) £23
  • permanent (over six months duration) £46

Commercial (charged entry) exhibitions and events (including talks and lectures) (including promotion):

  • temporary (under six months duration) £70
  • permanent (over six months duration) £142

Unpublished use (per image)

Non-profit or personal use (without publication): free
Use in talk, tour, or lecture (commercial or paid entry): £22
Use in official report or survey (without publication): £22
Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) reproduction of images: free for internal use or not for profit up to three images.  
Orders exceeding three images – prices on request (to cover staff preparation time at £26 per hour)

Normal charges apply where used commercially by LCC partners.


Become a part of Lincolnshire’s history

If you have archives relating to Lincolnshire and would like them to be preserved for future generations in a safe and accessible way, then consider donating them to us. 

We welcome records of the following:

  • Lincolnshire organisations, such as businesses, societies, charities, schools and churches
  • Lincolnshire families and individuals 
  • local authorities
  • public bodies (including hospitals, magistrates’ courts, and coroners)

We especially welcome records from groups which are under-represented in our collections (such as records of minority ethnic or marginalised groups).

We do not usually accept printed material, duplicates, documents with no connection to Lincolnshire, family trees, research notes, objects and films. However, we may be able to suggest a suitable repository for such items.

Offer a donation of items

We will not accept any material that:

  • does not have a Lincolnshire connection
  • has not been agreed by a collections officer in advance
  • arrives via unsolicited post

Free collections access days

We allow free access to museum collection items across our heritage sites, and 'restricted access' documents at Lincolnshire Archives, unless the document is not publicly accessible. 

You can book a one-hour appointment for up to two people.

During your visit, we will provide a member of staff to support you.

You will need to travel to the location where we hold your requested item. This could be at:

Appointments will take place on weekdays, however, please note some sites are closed on certain days.  To request an appointment, please email

What happens next?

If we can meet your request, we will send you a booking confirmation form.

We will give you the venue details and a point of contact for your visit.

If we cannot meet your request, we will tell you why. Where appropriate, we will invite you to resubmit a request for an alternative date.