Berkshire Record Office

The pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire's historic records, including those of places in North Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse, are held at the Berkshire Record Office in Reading.

Berkshire Record Office

Berkshire Record Office

9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6AF

Phone 0118 937 5132   fax: 0118 937 5131

Berkshire Record Office occupies a modern building just off Castle Hill in Reading. It shares the site with Reading Register Office, a few yards away in Yeomanry House. There is ample free parking on site.

Berkshire Record Office is an Accredited Archive Service.

The Record Office is open four days a week, Tuesdays to Fridays, and is open until 9 pm on Thursday evenings.

If you are planning a visit to Reading, you may also wish to be aware of the days and times when The Centre for Heritage and Family History (home of Berkshire Family History Society in central Reading) is open.

You need to book your place in advance for your visit to the Record Office (although you can just drop in at any time to The Centre for Heritage and Family History). For a visit to the Record Office, you will also need a County Archives Research Network (CARN) ticket. You can get a CARN ticket on arrival if you bring suitable personal ID  (name, address and signature) with you.

The Record Office offers some research services but only within the materials that it holds. An hourly fee is payable — currently £28 an hour, with a £14 minimum charge. A photographic restoration service is also available, prices start from £14. Contact the Record Office directly for details.

The reception area has a drinks machine and some snacks for purchase. You can eat a packed lunch here too, or outside in the grounds during summer. A nearby Marks and Spencer shop attached to a local petrol station sells food, sandwiches, and drinks and is three minutes' walk away. Reading town centre has a wide selection of pubs, cafes and eating places. The centre is a 5-10 minute (downhill) walk away.

The Record Office has many key resources for family history research, including:

  • Anglican Parish Registers for 'old' Berkshire
  • nonconformist parochial registers
  • pre-1858 Berkshire wills (Archdeacon's court)
  • manorial and estate papers
  • local government records
  • Quarter Sessions records
  • Poor Law Union records
  • Berkshire census returns
  • Workhouse and school records
  • Trade directories and business records
  • Tithe and enclosure maps and records
  • Poll books and electoral registers
  • Maps
  • Broadmoor and Fairmile Hospital Records (some access restrictions)
In many cases, documents can be viewed on microfilm or microfiche, which helps to preserve the originals.

Go to the Berkshire Record Office website

Page last reviewed and revised 26th February 2018

Additional information