Skip to content
Date updated: 11/03/2024

Applying for the LMA paid search service

The Paid Document Research Service (PDRS) at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is designed for people who are unable to visit us in person.

Upon receipt of a completed application, we will search through our extensive genealogical sources. However, we can't do your whole family tree, but we can search our records to find out facts in response to specific queries.

Before you apply

If you don't check with us first, we will only refund 75% of the research fee if we cannot carry out your research request.

We can only search our own records and your request may not be answerable within the records we hold.

Important! Does LMA have the records you need?

Check first by searching the catalogue or contact us if you're still not sure.

What to include in your application

For best results:

  • Check first – as described above – to see if we're likely to hold the information you're after. Please quote our email answer reference eg '3000000' and any document reference number we mentioned which you want us to look at
  • Keep your request simple and specific – keep within the stipulated character limits, otherwise we may not see all of your enquiry. If you need more than one piece of information, let us know which is the most important, in case there is not enough time to find everything
  • Tell us if you’ve already used other internet genealogical resources (eg Ancestry)

What does it cost?

The charge for a search will be calculated at a rate of £86 per hour. This will include charges for report writing, postage and administration, as well as copies of up to six documents, if we find anything of interest.

The minimum fee is for an hour's work. You may request longer periods (in half-hour blocks) to a maximum of two and a half hours. Payment for online application will be via credit card or debit card.

What will you get?

A written report containing a listing of all the sources checked on your behalf and a transcript or copy of the information relevant to your particular enquiry. You should normally receive your report within a month of your original enquiry.

We will tell you if we are unable to provide the information you have requested or if it cannot be found within the time for which you have paid.

Apply for research

Start your application

By post, please contact the LMA Enquiry team to get an application form.


Free research guides on some of the records held by LMA can be found here.

For any other enquiries, please contact lma.

Terms and conditions

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is a department of the City of London Corporation. See the details of the City Corporation's legal notices.

  1. We will take reasonable steps to deliver the information you request in the time you specify
  2. Enquiries will normally be dealt with within four calendar weeks
  3. Only material currently available to members of the public in our office will be researched. If a record is access restricted or too fragile it will not be possible to carry out research on it
  4. If the information which you have requested cannot be found within the time you specify, we will report back to you. You may then choose either to receive written details of our search so far or to have the search continued. If the latter, you will be asked to advance an additional payment, at the standard rate - you will be able to purchase up to a further two and a half hours work
  5. Whilst every effort will be made to supply the information requested, there can be no guarantee that the search will produce a positive result in any individual case. In the event that we are unable to provide the information requested, we will, where known, advise you of any alternative sources or repositories that you might research
  6. At any time you may cancel your order. You will then be entitled to a refund based on the unexpended balance of the time originally requested
  7. A written report will be sent which will contain a listing of all the sources checked on your behalf and a transcript or copy of the information relevant to your particular enquiry. The charge for the service includes for up to six copies (in total) of individual records. The cost of providing any documents (for instance photocopies, certificates, prints from microfilm, or scanned copies) that are additional for the purpose of the research requirement will be levied at the rates as advertised elsewhere on this website
  8. LMA provide the material set out in any report and any other information in good faith but accept no liability for any errors or omissions in the report or the research provided.
  9. The material provided is for personal use only and may not be used for commercial purposes. In the event that you require research for commercial purposes please contact LMA