|Photo of the National Archives building (wiki)|
Link to the guide of FREE online records held by The National Archives
...[which includes] the A -Z list of record series on digital microfilm [although in many cases] only part of the series is available online, not the whole series...
Why use this guide?This guide lists and provides access to all the record series at The National Archives which are available to view and download for free. These are all digital microfilm records.
What are digital microfilm records?Our digital microfilm records cover a wide and varied set of subjects, from military and naval records to Foreign Office and Home Office correspondence. They are all listed in the table in this guide.
Many of these records are indexes to other records which may not themselves be viewable online. They are all records which were previously available on microfilm in the reading rooms at The National Archives at Kew.
These documents are free of charge to download and are delivered as large PDF files.
How to search and use digital microfilm recordsYou can use digital microfilm records in much the same way that you would normal microfilm records, but instead of needing a microfilm reader, you can simply download them from our website and scroll through them on your computer.
You cannot search these records in the same way that you can other kinds of online records. There is no way to locate any of the information contained within them, including names of individuals, other than by scrolling through the PDFs.
Using the links in the table below, find records on digital microfilm as follows:
Step 1: Click on the record series title in the table to view the series description in our catalogue (for example, click on ‘Records of service of the Coastguard 1816-1947’ to view this record series, which has the catalogue reference ADM 175)
Step 2: Find the piece number covering the date and subject of interest. Piece numbers always contain a forward slash (for example, ADM 175/4). If you cannot see the piece numbers displayed to the right of the series description, click on ‘Details’ and then ‘Browse by reference’
Step 3: Having chosen a piece number, click on Details
Step 4: Click on ‘Add to basket’ and download.
Downloading, saving and printing digital microfilmDigital microfilm files are much larger in size than the rest of our digital content (files contain up to 800 pages) and so is only available to online users with a broadband connection. Computers with limited memory may struggle to open them and it will almost certainly take your computer some time to download each file. They are on average 400MB in size
We recommend that you save the document to your computer’s hard drive before attempting to open it. How you do this will depend on the web browser you are using and whether you are using a PC or Mac. See the table below for instructions.
|Mozilla Firefox||Google Chrome||Internet Explorer||Mac users|
|Right click and select ‘Save link as’||Right click and select ‘Save link as’||Right click and select ‘Save target as’||Click the mouse while pressing the control button on the keyboard simultaneously – a pop-up box should appear, allowing you to save the files|
When printing from these files specify which page numbers you would like to print, as many are up to 800 pages long in total.
If you experience problems saving or downloading, contact our helpdesk team.