Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions relating to our collections:

Q: Does CASCAT hold details of all of your collections?
A: No, but CASCAT contains most of our catalogues. Some collections are only partially listed in CASCAT. Other collections are still uncatalogued or only have catalogues and indexes available at the Cumbria Archive Centres. Please contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.
Q: Can your catalogues be searched online elsewhere?
A: Yes, many of our catalogues can be searched on the The National Archives Discovery Catalogue website Please be aware that many of our A2A catalogues have since been edited, so the most up-to-date versions will be in CASCAT.
Q: I haven't a clue where to start! What do I do?
A: Try doing a search on a name or a place in the search box at the top right. No results? Then perhaps try using our Collection Guide to find the type of records which might be useful.
Q: I've found some useful results in CASCAT. How do I see the documents?
A: If the items are on open access, you can visit the Cumbria Archive Centre which holds the records. Some records are not on open access or immediate access because there are issues related to their access or they are not stored onsite but in one of our outstores. If the records are not on straightforward open access, details of these issues will be given in the 'Access conditions' field in the catalogue record.
Q: Can I obtain photocopies or digital images of documents I find in CASCAT?
A: We can usually provide copies of items in our collections unless the records are damaged or not on open access. You can find out more about our Copying services and you should contact the relevant Archive Centre, giving the references and details you have found on CASCAT.
Q: Why aren't all your records digitised and available online?
A: Our holdings are so large it is not possible to digitise everything. It is more important for our users and ourselves that we concentrate our efforts in making all our catalogues available first. We will in the near future be providing certain records for digitisation which are particularly relevant for family historians, such as school records and workhouse registers. Other records relevant to Cumbria such as censuses can be found on genealogy websites such as Ancestry, and these can be viewed at no charge on the public access computers in our Archive Centre searchrooms. You can find some of our digital images on our 'Image Gallery' above.
Q: Do your collections cover the whole of Cumbria?
A: Our collections cover the majority of the county. Prior to 1974 the Furness area of Cumbria was part of Lancashire, and some records are therefore held in Lancashire. Similarly prior to 1856 much of the south of present day Cumbria was in the Diocese of Chester, and so some original records are also held in Cheshire and Lancashire. More details can be found on the 'Useful links' page.
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