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How to order documents

If a document in our collection has been digitised, you can normally view images of it through Essex Archives Online.  Unless you are in the Essex Record Office searchroom in Chelmsford, where access is free, you will usually need to register and then buy a subscription.

But most of the records that we hold have not been digitised.  For access to these, you can 

  1. Ask to see a document in the Essex Record Office searchroom
  2. Request copies or a search

1. Asking to see documents in the searchroom

If you are using Essex Archives Online in the Essex Record Office searchroom in Chelmsford, you can ask to see documents on that day.

If you are using Essex Archives Online from home or on the move, you can order documents in advance of a visit.

You can order up to five documents at a time.

To order documents, you will need a current Archives Card either issued by the ERO or previously registered with us.

  • Click on Login/Register in the top right of the screen, and log in using the number on your Archives Card and your postcode, then click Continue
  • Search for the document(s) you want to see
  • When viewing an item’s catalogue description, scroll to the bottom of the page and click I want to see this in the Searchroom
  • On the final page, if you are using Essex Archives Online in the searchroom, the current date should be automatically filled in; if you are using Essex Archives Online anywhere else, enter the date you are planning to visit
  • Enter your Archives Card number into the Confirm Ticket Number box
  • Click Order
  • The document will be produced from storage to the ERO searchroom on the date requested

Some documents are subject to access restrictions. We will advise if this is the case. If you have questions about a closed document, please contact us at

2. Request copies or a search

If you are not able to visit the Essex Record Office in person, you can request copies of a particular item, or ask us to make a search of it on your behalf.