What proportion of The National Archives' collection is available to view in the image library?

Our image library contains over 80,000 unique images, which is just a fraction of The National Archives' collection of millions of records. Discovery, our catalogue, is the most comprehensive source of information about the collection. Most of the high-resolution images in the image library have been produced in response to requests from the public, and we will continue to add to our library on a daily basis.

Can you provide images of documents that are not currently in your image library?

Yes. If you don't find what you are looking for in the image library, you can search our full collection of records in our catalogue and request specific images. Production of new images takes place during normal working hours.

Why are certain images not viewable in the image library?

We have a small number of records that contain potentially disturbing or culturally sensitive images (for instance, crime scenes) which we choose not to publish online. If you want to purchase one of these images please contact the image library.

What is the image library reference number?

This is the document’s catalogue reference number, plus its page, folio, membrane or piece number, if it has one. Please note that not all of this information will necessarily be searchable in the Discovery catalogue.

What file format and resolution do you supply? How large will the files be?

The images available to download from the image library are high-resolution TIFFs. Some files for large format documents will be extremely large. An option to select a file size is provided.

I only need a low-resolution image - do I still have to pay a supply fee?

All images from our image library are provided at high resolution and the supply fee is payable for this service. If you are looking for low-resolution copies of documents for research or personal use, you can browse and buy records from some of our most popular online collections in Discovery or you may want to use our record copying service.

Why do your images appear to have the logo of The National Archives over them?

This is our watermark which only appears when you are previewing the images. It will not appear in purchased images.

What is a basket and how do I use it?

If you are a registered user browsing our site and find a number of images that you like, you can add them to your basket. This allows you to compare the images and decide which ones you might want to purchase. Your basket will be saved automatically when you leave the site. If you are working on more than one project you can create multiple baskets and checkout each one individually.

Are electronic rights included in reproduction fees for publication?

Yes, electronic rights are automatically included with fees for print. If you require electronic rights only, select 'internet use'.

How are your fees calculated?

Usage fees are based on industry standard rates, and are reviewed annually. If required, amendments to fees will be implemented each April.

Can I visit the image library in person?

Our image library team work behind the scenes, but The National Archives and our reading rooms are open to the public and free to visit.

What are the fees for the upload of TNA images to a website?

  • For a password-protected website:

The reproduction of images of documents from The National Archives on a password-protected website is permitted without charge.

  • For an open non-commercial website:

The reproduction of images of documents from The National Archives on an open non-commercial website costs a one-off fee of £40.00 (+ £8.00 VAT for UK customers).  This fee covers the upload of between one and twenty document images, with rights in perpetuity.  The document images must be protected from unauthorized download at high resolution by a third party. This can be done by watermarking them (‘The National Archives’), or by keeping the resolution to a level whereby the documents are legible for information and research, but are not of sufficient quality for commercial publication (usually 72dpi for the web).

To apply this fee, purchase one image, selecting the £40.00 fee, then check out.  Further images may then be purchased without a usage fee attached, up to a total of nineteen.  The fee also permits the upload of self-photographed TNA images, or TNA images from other website sources.

  • For an open commercial website:

The reproduction of images of documents from The National Archives on an open commercial website costs £110.00 per image (+ £22.00 VAT for UK customers), with rights in perpetuity.

For licensing images for use on products/merchandise, please contact our Licensing Department at:


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