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Our scale of charges

Charges for Services [from 1st January 2018]


1. Free Services

The following services are free to customers:

  • personal visits to the Archives Service searchroom within normal hours to consult original documents and microfilm
  • advice on research and archive sources from staff in person, or by telephone or e-mail. But if you commission staff to look things up for you, i.e. research, then we will normally charge, see section 2.1
  • access to family history websites via terminals in the searchroom (space permitting) including access to the Ancestry website (normally subscription or pay per view)
  • access to the Archives Service website, including the catalogues database, the Community Archive pages, and the Bedford Gaol register database

2.  Charges

2.1 Photocopying

 (a)  Minimum charge for copies to be sent by post covering up to 5 sheets  (including postage and packing) - UK and overseas = £8.80 

(Completion target: 2 days). We recommend that you batch requests for copies if you can, as a single copy will still cost £8.80 if ordered separately. N.B. For orders of a large quantity of copies to be sent overseas there may be a postage charge.  Please enquire with our staff.

 (b) Charge per black and white copy (A4 or A3; or electronic equivalent) where no research is involved identifying the material to be copied:

  • On site copies =  75p

 Discounts per copy (A4 or A3) 

  • Depositors (copies of their own material) = 10p
  • Self-service microform copies = 35p

 (Completion target: usually instantly, depending on quantity or workload)

 (c) Colour photocopying – per copy

  • On site copies =  90p

(Completion target: usually instantly, depending on quantity or workload)

(d) Plan printing per copy (A2 to A0) done off-site:

  • £20.50

 (Completion target: 7 days)

2.2 Photography

a) Digital Images

We have a digital camera and a scanner with which we are able to produce digital images as high resolution files on CD or as lower resolution files by e-mail. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer photo quality printing.

Minimum charge per copy -

  • For 15 minutes of image capture = £8.80

(b) Charge for using your own camera  

  • 75 pence per document retrieved from the stackroom (irrespective of number of images  taken). Capped at a maximum of £19.50 per day. 
  • 35 pence per searchroom item e.g. books, research notes, microform
  • Please see the staff if you have any questions.

(c)  Studio Photography

This is occasionally necessary when digital photography is not possible. Each job is subject to individual quotation.

(d)  Archive staff accompany material off-site for photography

  •   £35.20 per hour, plus travelling expenses

(e)  Picture and caption research

  •   £35.20 per hour (same as research rate)

2.3 Research/Lectures/Certificates

(a) Research fees

  • General research work (e.g. family history) and transcription, charge per hour (exclusive of  copying charges) = £35.20
  • 30 minutes research = £17.60
  • 15 minutes of research = £8.80

(Completion target: 2 days, except for conservation and specialist research which is negotiable)

(b) Certificates and Certified Copies
(for verified entries not involving a search as in (a))

  • Baptism certificate (Anglican Church standard fee) = £13.00
  • Marriage certificate (Standard Registrar’s fee) £10.00
  • General certification of documents  (non-statutory) per item  = £16.00

 (Completion target: usually on request, or 2 days by post)

(c)  Group visits to the archives office (evenings or daytime)  involving special arrangements (e.g. talks by staff, stackroom tours, documents out in advance).  Negotiable from £75.00

(d)  Charge for lectures (exclusive of travelling costs for lectures outside 25 mile radius) negotiable from £75.00

2.4 Reproduction fees

(a) Non-exclusive reproduction rights of material held by the  Archives Services (inc. VAT). Charges per item:

  • World rights (all media including websites) = £144.00
  • Print media only >1000 copies = £120.00
  • Print media only >500 <1000 copies = £72.00
  • Print media only >100 <500 copies or exhibition lasting >1 month = £36.00
  • Print media only <100 copies or exhibition lasting <1 month = £12.00

(b) Notes on reproduction fees and credits

  • Reproduction fees do not include charges for images supplied by the Archive Service.
  • On rare occasions the Archives Service may at its discretion waive or reduce the fee payable and may request a complimentary copy of the published work instead of or in addition to a fee.
  • Copyright: although permission may be granted by the Archives Service to reproduce a copy of an item those intending to publish need to be aware of their responsibility to obtain the consent of  the copyright owner and to comply with the Copyright Acts
  • Credit lines: the form of acknowledgement should be “Bedfordshire Archives Service” which should appear in immediate proximity to the reproduction or in the section devoted to acknowledgements. Items from some collections may require additional acknowledgement to the depositor.
  • Material is supplied for one specified purpose or edition only. The Archives Office must be contacted and the fee re-negotiated if any further use is contemplated (including reprints or subsequent editions).


2.5 How to pay

We can accept payment by the following methods:

  • Sterling cheques, money orders or postal orders payable to Bedford Borough Council. 
  • Cash: It is not advisable to send cash through the post. If you do, please use 'Special Delivery' as the Post Office will not compensate for cash sent by Recorded Delivery.

We accept credit card payment by Mastercard, Maestro, Visa or Visa Delta.


The Archives Service now has a facility enabling our customers to pay online for the services they get from us. When you have contacted us with your enquiry and we have given you an enquiry number and a breakdown of the research/copying fees owed you can pay by following the instructions below. Please read the guidelines first which should help you navigate your way through the payment system.

  1. Select the 'Miscellaneous' option from the Borough Council's payment homepage.
  2. Click on 'Archives' and a drop down menu of our services will appear. Select one of the options, such as Photocopies. 
  3. This will take you to a page where you are asked to fill in your name and address details, and the amount that you need to pay for the service you have selected.  NB If you are living outside the UK please enter our postcode - MK42 9AP -as others will not work, but include yours in the address section. 
  4. In the field labelled Message Box, you must put your enquiry number – this will have been given to you by the member of staff dealing with your enquiry, and will look something like this – 17-01-123.
  5. Press 'Continue' and you will see a summary of what you have to pay for so far. If you have any other services to pay for, such as research or digital copies, click on 'Add Another Service' and add the items required from the menu. When all the services you need to pay for are listed on the summary, press 'Continue'. N.B. You will need to pay for each type of service separately in accordance with the price quoted by our staff.
  6. A page appears which asks for your card details, and also whether you want an electronic receipt sending to your e-mail address. When the details have been filled in, press 'Continue' and you should then get a payment confirmation and a payment reference number. The process is complete, your payment has been accepted, and the Archives Service will receive confirmation that you have paid.

N.B. We are not permitted to retain card details for our customers, so every time you use our service and incur a fee, you will have to enter your payment details. We will not keep a record of your details.

  • If necessary you can pay against our invoice (please ask for details)
  • We can issue a receipt (at your request) for any payments you make.