About the Archives

Find out how we collect and preserve the historical records of the area and how you can access the archives for research or study.


You can send us an enquiry (please include your name and address) by:

  • Emailing [email protected]
  • Phoning us on 01752 304774
  • Writing to us at Plymouth City Council (Arts and Heritage) Offices, 37 Tavistock Place, Plymouth, PL4 8AX

Enquiries will be responded to within 20 working days. Please note that we cannot help with:

  • General Freedom of Information requests for Plymouth City Council – please visit the general requests for information page for details.
  • Research. Please see our list of independent professional researchers below:

Archive researchers [PDF]

Archive policies

The Plymouth and West Devon Record Office (PWDRO) produces detailed policies on various key aspects of our service. These policies are grouped into two areas:

Closeup of green book spines embossed with 'general ledger'

Stewardship of archives

Our collecting policy, preservation of the records.

PWDRO Terms of Deposit [PDF – 123KB]

PWDRO Collections Development and Disposal [PDF – 135KB]

Please note that from January 2018 to January 2021, we will cease taking in new deposits and no new documents or records will be accepted until we have completed our move to The Box, Plymouth.

Access policies

What we do to provide an archive service and make the information in our care available to the public.

PWDRO Access Policy [PDF – 124KB]

Photograph showing between two high racks of boxes with a staff member standing at a trolley The most commonly requested policies are:

  • Copying charges – details of items we sell
  • Copying terms [PDF] – an overview of the permitted uses of your copied information
  • Terms of use – The terms of use of this website including information on copyright