Collections and Archives
The Collections and Archives department maintains the historical records of the Percy family estates, as well as looking after decorative and archaeological artefacts and thousands of books held in the collections and library of the Duke of Northumberland.
Alnwick Castle holds around 2 kilometres of archives, comprising title deeds, rentals, surveys, mapping, legal papers, accounts and personal papers. The collection and archives are privately owned, and the work of the department is fully funded by the Percy family.
Enquiries and image requests
Enquiries and image requests for fine and decorative arts and museum objects should be directed in writing to Lisa Little at the following address:
Ms Lisa Little
Collections and Archives Department
The Northumberland Estates
Please supply all relevant information about the reason for your request, whether the image is to be published in book form or online, and what the expected circulation will be. A scale of charges applies depending on the individual circumstances.
The Castle's Archives
The archives of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle form one of the largest archival holdings in private ownership in the country. The records range in date from the 12th century to the present, and the bulk of them document the management of the estates belonging to the Percys, comprising title deeds, rentals, surveys, mapping, manor court papers, legal papers and accounts.
The best available guides to the collection are:
The HMC Guide to Sources for British History (number 11), Principal Family and Estate Collections: Family Names L-W (1999, HMSO, London) pp. 59-61.
The Appendix to the Third Report of the HMC, 1872.
Genealogical information is confined to members of the main branch of the Percy family, rental details of tenants holding properties directly from the estate and employment details of estate and household staff.
The estates do not hold birth, death or marriage records, nor information relating to the family members of tenants and employees. The records are also closed for 100 years, and so enquiries relating to information after 1911 unfortunately cannot be answered.