The Archive is privately owned by the Vane family and receives no public money. To consult the archive, please contact the Archivist: archives@raby.co.uk

We are currently carrying out extensive work on our Archives, including surveying, cataloguing, conservation and re-housing. Until this work has been completed, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully reply to all research enquiries.

Please see below for links to our guides to making enquiries to the archive:

– General research and family history enquiries

– Archive image requests for Personal Research

– Archive or image requests for publication


Archive Image Requests for Personal Research

Scanned images or digital photographs of items from the archives can be requested for personal research purposes. Only items in a condition suitable for scanning can be processed inhouse.

For items below A3 in size and in a binding and condition suitable for scanning, an administrative fee of £30 is chargeable for the first image capture. Subsequent image captures are charged at £5.00 per capture up to a maximum order of 30 captures.

For outsize and bulk orders, digitisation can be arranged at the Archivist’s discretion. The charge for this service is an administration fee of £40 per order and a ‘per capture’ fee of £5.00 for double page captures, £7.50 up to A1 size and £10 above A1 size. For very large items, there may also be a digital processing fee of £30. If making an image request, please return a completed copy of the archive Copyright and Publication Declaration , as a scanned attachment to an email, to the Archivist.


Family and House History Enquiries

Owing to increased demand, it has become necessary to charge for research work undertaken by the Archivist.

Genealogical information held in the archives is confined to the following categories:

1) Members of the main branch of the Vane family.

2) Tenants holding properties such as farms or cottages directly of the estate – rental details only.

3) Estate and household staff – employment details only.

Records are not complete for any of the three categories, and the Estates do not hold birth, death or marriage records, or information relating to the family members of tenants and employees.

We do not hold references from former employers or job descriptions.

Please note that some records may be restricted including those records that are closed for 100 years from the date of creation.


Research tariff:

Search by the Archivist: £60 (up to a maximum of two hours and includes up to 5 digital captures).  Additional captures are chargeable at £5.00 per capture up to a maximum of 30 captures. Payment for research is payable in advance at the time of ordering.

Please note the following when submitting an enquiry:

Be specific about the question to be researched, and include information that is already known and relevant to the search (for example, names/dates of birth/dates of marriage and death, and approximate dates of employment and position held)

We cannot undertake a genealogical or house search without at least narrowing the search dates to a 10 year window. For building history enquiries we require precise details of geographical location and any information regarding date of construction and purchase. Please ensure that you have viewed your own title deeds before contacting us. We regret that we cannot guarantee success in every enquiry and cannot give refunds if no information is found.

To commission a search of the archives: Please send your enquiry to the Archivist.  The anticipated timescale for receiving the results of the research is three months but we will endeavour to keep you informed of progress during this period.

Before requesting a search of the archives, it is recommended that enquirers try the following sources:

For family history or house history enquiries, there is a range of freely available online search tools and websites.

A helpful list of available online sources can be found on the Durham County Record Office website:


The above-mentioned repository also holds many archives that are relevant to Raby Estates and their catalogue descriptions can be searched online:


Some relevant records can be found at:

Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections:


The National Archives:


British Library:


You might also find the following websites helpful:




Guide to researchers

  1. Any new searcher will be expected to register their details with Archivist and to comply with appropriate standards of handling and care.
  2. Search facilities. Please contact the Archivist to arrange access to the archives. Please note there is no access to the Archives during the period 15 December to 31 March.
  3. Charges. A fee of £55 per searcher is charged for a day or part of a day’s search to cover Archivist time. Payment is made online at the time of arranging a visit. The number of attendances allowed by a searcher in the course of a 12 month period may be limited. Search facilities are open to a maximum of two searchers per day from 10.00am 12.30 and from 13.30 to 4.30pm. There are two deliveries of manuscripts to the search room in the day: at 10.00am and 2.00pm. A maximum of 10 items can be produced per searcher per delivery.
  4. Researchers must discuss their requirements with the Archivist prior to visit.
  5. Only pencils should be used for note taking. Laptops are permitted although charging points may be limited.
  6. Bags cannot be taken into the Search Room; a locker is provided. Food and drink are not allowed within the building. There is a café on the castle site which is open to the public all year round.
  7. Reprographics. Up to five image captures of material viewed during a research visit can be supplied, included as part of the daily Search Fee. Only items below A3 size and in a binding and condition suitable for scanning can be processed. Extra captures or outsized requests are chargeable as described in our ‘Image Requests’ document. Searchers may use their own cameras by prior arrangement with the Archivist, for a daily fee of £50 in addition to the search fee.


Copyright and Publication Declaration (click to download)

For Collection enquiries or images of the collections for use in publications, film or media please contact the Curator/Archivist.

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