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Making copies of documents

22 October 2015


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Due to the unique nature of many of the documents held by the Essex Record Office (ERO), no document will be copied if the act of making a copy will cause any damage to the original document.



Subject to this condition, every effort will be made to accommodate your requests. Due to the levels of work required to make copies of different types of document, the ERO staff can only provide a general idea of prices ahead of time.


Copies requested in person

If you are able to visit the Essex Record Office in person, the staff will offer advice directly. The following types of copy are available.

Photographic copies

For information relating to the use of cameras within the Searchroom, please see the use of cameras page.



Photocopies cannot be made by members of the public. Searchroom staff will try to photocopy documents for you where possible, but the primary consideration will always be the potential for damage to the document.  The following documents cannot be photocopied:
  • Fragile documents. Many of these have already been identified and cannot be ordered;
  • Documents (other than maps) that are larger than A3;
  • Large volumes, manuscript or printed, which are heavy, tightly bound, fragile and either damaged (with broken spines, for example) or would be damaged by being placed in a photocopier;
  • Parchment documents;
  • Documents with seals or original fastenings;
  • Rolled documents;
  • Electoral registers since 1974. Registers before 1974 can be copied, subject to condition and size;
  • Records normally available on microfilm or microfiche;
  • Tightly folded items that cannot be opened flat.
All requests for photocopies must be made on a completed photocopy form. All photocopies are in black and white.

Scanned copies

For some documents that cannot be photocopied, we also have a book scanner that can be used to make copies. If a document can be scanned, and is still within copyright, then a limit of 6 double pages of a volume can be copied using the book scanner. If more are required then digital copies should be ordered. Copies made using this machine are black and white.

Digital copies

We have a growing number of digital images available, and many can be seen on Seax. Where we already have a digital image, this can be copied onto a CD. If we do not have a digital image, we can produce one and copy it onto a CD. A charge is made for each image produced and then for the CD.
A scale slip can be added if required, and we can produce either a jpeg or tiff file. Images can be produced in colour or black and white, and in different resolutions. For more information, contact the Reprographics Service

Copies from Microfiche and Microfilm

For researchers using microfilm or microfiche in the Searchroom, copy cards of different values can be purchased from the Searchroom Desk for use with the self service reader printer.

Copies requested remotely

We will complete the order in the cheapest way possible. If a document is unsuitable for copying, we will contact you to let you know, and advise you of how else we may be able to help.
When completing the form, it is helpful to give as many details as possible to enable the staff completing the order to be certain that they are copying the right items. For example, if it is an entry in a parish register the following information is helpful:
  • The reference;
  • The parish name;
  • The name(s) of the individual(s) in the entry;
  • The specific date in the register. 
This information can be obtained from the Seax database.
If you do not know the specific date of a parish register entry, you must request a remote search.