Bedfordshire, England Public Record Office
Riverside Building, Borough hall, Bedford MK429AP
The public record office of Bedfordshire & Luton is celebrating their one hundred years of service this year. Bedfordshire record office is located at the Riverside Building, Borough hall, Bedford MK429AP. Opening hours are Monday (9 am to 7 pm) and Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays (9 am to 5 pm). There are no office hours on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. On Thursdays, the office is on answerphone, a time they respond to messages by phone (01234)228833 Fax (01234)228854 and e-mails email@example.com. Parking spots are available but limited.
Bedfordshire is home to an estimated 157,800 people expected to grow to 170,000 by the year 2021. The Bedford public record office offers archived records dating centuries ago. These archived collections are available for view to the public for research. Moreover, the Bedfordshire record office accepts and preserves original documents into their collections from individual or businesses who want to conserve vital records.
The Bedfordshire record office is the first record office of England and has a vast collection of family records, business records, Church of England records, Manorial records, and Estate records received from key landowners of the county, records of individuals and societies, jail records, and many more. They also have a community archives section that gives a brief overview of the individual history of each Bedfordshire settlements. The most popular research goes to family history, which comes from parish registers dating back to 1538. Bishop’s Transcripts, marriage license records, cemetery records, and census returns.
The record office serves researchers on the premises or by phone and in writing. When visiting the record office, one will find a courteous staff ready to seek out documents needed. One does not require an appointment to view any microfilm or physical documents. There is no charge for accessing records. The staff is also able to explain the nature of any document and its historical context. Copies are available in black and white or colours, and if one needs to scan the document digitally, the record office provides digital scanners. The staff allows photography in the search rooms without the use of flash; using a flash damages the documents.
The Bedfordshire record office also offers services to schools, societies, voluntary groups, and the community at large. They will provide historical documentation and maps to aid in education. They provide documentation to exhibitions, and make their holdings available through an Internet service internationally.