Using the Record Office

You are welcome to bring laptops, mobile devices, cameras, and stationery with you to the Record Office. The searchroom is Wi-Fi enabled.

You can use your phone or camera to take copies of documents during your visit with the purchase of a camera licence. To protect the documents, use a pencil. If you forget to bring one, a pencil may be provided. We have also produced an information sheet for researchers with disabilities (PDF, 89KB).

Record Office bookings

If you are coming to the Record Office, you should make a booking as numbers are limited. 

A booking can be for either a morning session (9.30am to12.30pm) or afternoon session (1.30pm to 4.30pm). It is only possible to have one booking at a time.

Bookings can be made between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday by emailing or calling 01983 823820.

Opening hours  

We are closed between 12.30pm and 1.30pm each day.

  • Monday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
  • Thursday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
  • Friday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: CLOSED
  • Sunday: CLOSED

Confirm with us that there is space available at your preferred time before you visit.

Make sure to discuss your research interests before you visit so that documents, where possible, can be ordered in advance.

Planned closures 

Please check these dates before making any booking requests.

Christmas and New Year 2023 - 2024

  • Monday 25 December to Tuesday 2 January 

Easter 2024

  • Friday 29 March to Tuesday 2 April 

Spring and Summer bank holidays 2024

  • Monday 6 May 
  • Tuesday 7 May 
  • Monday 27 May 
  • Tuesday 28 May 
  • Monday 26 August
  • Tuesday 27 August 

Getting to the Record Office

The County Record Office is on Hillside in Newport, located between Fairlee Road (A3054) and the Quay. A map of the record office and surrounding area is available through the Contact tab at the top of the page. A set of external and internal views of the Record Office building are provided on Google maps/places.  

If travelling by car, the office's postcode is PO30 2EB. On arrival, request a parking permit from the member of staff on duty in the searchroom.

If travelling by public transport, there are bus services to Newport from the ferry terminals of Ryde, Cowes and Yarmouth. We are within ten minutes' walking distance of Newport bus station.

Hillside Barrier 

The barrier between Hillside and the Quay is locked at all times. Vehicle access to the Record Office is from the Fairlee Road end of Hillside only.

Arriving at the Record Office

On arrival, you should report to the enquiries desk in the searchroom. You will be asked to complete a day ticket. This gives you access to original documents at the office for one day. You will need to give details of your name and address but will not require proof of identification.

There are six parking spaces which are free to use, subject to availability. You will need to complete a parking permit from the enquiries desk and place this in your car for the benefit of parking attendants, otherwise, a fine may be issued. 

Finding aids


View a list of the indexes (PDF, 236KB), available in the searchroom, of documents held.


Catalogues in the searchroom include estate collections, parish records, nonconformist records, records of local government, schools, hospitals, and businesses.


There is a small library of reference books and published works about both the Isle of Wight and historical sources.

Our members of staff will be happy to provide guidance on using the facilities. Ask us if you need assistance.

Requesting documents

Each document has a unique reference number by which it is identified. The reference numbers are obtained from the indexes and catalogues. If you wish to see a particular document, you should write its reference number and details on a request slip, and then sign and date it. 

The request slips are kept at the enquiry desk. You may request up to four items at one time, but you should use a separate slip for each item. The completed slips should be placed in the request box on the enquiry desk. Last orders for documents are 15 minutes before closing time. 

A member of staff will fetch the documents that you have requested, and they should be produced within ten minutes. Production times may be longer if the searchroom is particularly busy.

Consulting documents

 It is advisable to record the reference numbers of any records that you consult in case you wish to refer to them again.

Returning documents

Documents should be handed back to the enquiry desk. Ensure you have returned the documents at least ten minutes before closing time.

A code of conduct applies to use of the searchroom, for the benefit of all users and the preservation of the documents we hold.

  • Remember that each record is unique and historically precious, and should be handled carefully.
  • Use a pencil when taking notes and do not lean on the documents. 
  • Eating, drinking and smoking are not allowed in the searchroom. 
  • Show consideration to other researchers by being as quiet as possible.