View Full Version : TNA copy charges/estimates: news

bruce dennis
19th March 2010, 16:44
The new policy on estimates for copying has been released by The National Archives. With immediate effect, there is no longer a free estimate facility. Anyone wanting an estimate for copying a file will pay TNA a non-refundable fee of £45 for the estimate. I know it will seem that I have made a mistake so I will clarify this point: you give them £45 and they give you an estimate for copying one file, and they keep the £45 whether or not you then order the copies. If you are interested in two files, the fee will be £90. Charges per A3 sheet seem set at £ .45 each, no A4 service. The TNA manager explaining the changes to a group of researchers was asked if TNA do not want to provide estimates anymore and the answer underlined their policy of referring enquiries from the public to Independent Researchers. Effectively, this means that the overwhelming majority of enquiries from the public to TNA will now either be dropped or will be handled by Independent Researchers.

There were also updates on the charges for digital copies to be downloaded, and I will wait for further information before commenting further, apart from saying there were no surprises.

Yesterday was the ‘official launch’ of the new system, coinciding with the monthly Readers Forum where we heard the details for the first time. The TNA website has a description of the process, but the above description comes from yesterday’s meeting where various questions were put to the senior staff about the process, and it would be very interesting to hear the experiences of anyone who contacts TNA as a member of the public enquiring about an estimate.


Andy Fletcher
19th March 2010, 17:36
Hi Bruce,

Thanks for posting this, evem though it is bad news.

Can you clarify what happens if you know what file you want copied, ie ordering a microfilmed ORB to be copied onto CD, do you still have to pay the additional £45 on top of the old charges for copying (£25 per microfilm).

It's almost like they are trying to drive people away.

Best Regards

Andy Fletcher

19th March 2010, 18:02
When the estimate cost was £10 several years back, and you accepted the cost of copying, the £10 was deducted from the copying cost, if not accepted you lost it. Will the £45 come off the copying price this time around, and as Andy stated, how will this apply to copying ORB's that are copied to disc, which are now (or were!!)priced £28.

Just had a dry run for an estimate for copying to CD, and for paper copies, but as yet, no payment neccesary for this estimate, still comes up

bruce dennis
19th March 2010, 19:42
Hello Alan, sorry but this is the deal: " ...you give them £45 and they give you an estimate for copying one file, and they keep the £45 whether or not you then order the copies." I suggest you enquire to the TNA and tell us their response. They were quite clear that it was not refundable and would not be credited against orders placed: it is a charge for providing an estimate.

Hi Andy,
The £45 is payable ONLY for providing the estimate: as descibed to us, and as detailed under scrutiny from interested researchers, customers will only be charged the £45 if they require an estimate. There was no indication at all that the fee would be charged if the customer specified files and gave instructions to copy them, only if they first asked how much an individual file would cost.

You will excuse me for explaining what many already know, but this is the right place to make the distinction: If you ask TNA to copy a file onto CD, that is not considered a digitised file because the ORIGINAL is still the subject. If TNA have scanned a file and no longer offer access to the original paper copy, then in TNA-speak THAT is a digitised file and it already has a purchase price. The point here is that digitised files are different in that if TNA offers digitised copies of a file, it means that file has already been (a) scanned and (b) costed. Hence, no need for an estimate, just ask for the price and say Yes or No. I am not trying to rattle everyone, but there were also changes in the price structure described for pricing digitised files. It is a bit difficult to know the pros & cons of the changes discussed yesterday because there were no prices revealed apart from the new 'estimate charge'. These changes to the pricing of digitised files may or may not be a good thing, and I will comment after I have got more information and cleared up a couple of points. Having said that, everyone please keep using the Kew service but please exercise caution in the placing of any order.


19th March 2010, 21:10
God save us!
This fee like is one way ticket with EasyJet from Prague to London!

I was trying to get some info from archive in Riga, Latvia, and I was shocked when they asked for the research fee of 70 EUR in advance. So now I see that TNA does not want to stay backward:-(


Andy Fletcher
20th March 2010, 12:08
Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the explanation, at least it's not as dire as I first thought.

Thanks also for keeping us informed of what is happening.


Andy Fletcher