FAQs

  • How do I search the catalogue?
  • Can I search within specific groups of records (e.g. Archive / Library)?
  • How can I find information on a particular cemetery or memorial?
  • I would like to find out more about my ancestor who died in the First or Second World War. Where can I find this information?
  • How do I find out about specific individuals associated with the Archive Collections?
  • Have any records in the collection been digitised?
  • I have found records in the catalogue that I am interested in. How do I access them?
  • Is it possible for you to undertake research for me?
  • Can I request copies of records in the catalogue?
  • How do I reference items in the catalogue in a piece of academic research?
  • Why can't I find items listed after a certain date?

How do I search the catalogue?


There are two main ways to search the catalogue: quick and advanced searching.

Quick search

The quick search is accessed via the "Google-style" search box in the top right hand corner of the CWGC Archive catalogue page.

By default, the quick search will search across the Title and Description fields. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search.

Advanced search

The advanced search enables you to perform "Any text Field" searches, and also to search specifically on certain fields

Refine advanced search criteria

By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However you can choose to change the default search criteria by clicking the "Refine Search Criteria" option. There are three ways to refine the search option:

With all the words

With at least one of the words

Without the words

Searching on picklist fields

If the field on which you are searching is a "picklist" field (a field in which the content is restricted to a limited list) it will appear with a drop down list from which you can select your search term.


Can I search within specific groups of records (e.g. Archive / Library)?


The CWGC Archive catalogue will by default search for items across both the archive and library collections. However, you can restrict your searches to specific components by using the MgtGroup search fields in Advanced Search.

The MgtGroup field contains a drop down list of the record components within the catalogue - namely Archives and Library. To search specifically within one of these components, simply select the appropriate group from the list. You can use the other search fields to refine your search if necessary.


How can I find information on a particular cemetery or memorial?


The simplest way is to type the cemetery or memorial name into the Title search field. You do not have to be strictly accurate in how this is done. For example, if you were looking for records relating to The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial a search for "Ypres Gate", "Menin Gate", "Ypres Memorial" or "Menin Memorial" would all return records in the search results (along with any other records which contained those search terms in its title).

I would like to find out more about my ancestor who died in the First or Second World War. Where can I find this information?


The CWGC archive catalogue only contains records relating to the Commission and its history. To find records relating to the individuals we commemorate you can search our online casualty database where digitised copies of some of our records can be viewed.


How do I find out about specific individuals associated with the Archive Collections?


A number of biographical entries about the individuals associated with the Commission's history are available to view in the archive catalogue. These biographies also provide links to relevant records in the Archive collection where the individual is mentioned.

To find out more about a particular individual, click on the arrow next to 'Advanced Search' at the top of the page and then select 'Persons'.

You can enter the person's surname in the 'Person Name' field or, if you would like to select from the full list of individuals currently in the catalogue, type DS followed by an asterisk (*) in the 'Code' field. This will bring up a full list of individuals for which a biography is available.

There are additional fields you can use in searching for individuals. These are:

  • Any Text: Text is used in this field throughout the catalogue and brings up a list of persons where records associated with them contain or mention the search term.
  • Dates: The dates in which the person existed (e.g. 1869-1949).
  • Epithet: a one or two word description of their role e.g. architect



Have any records in the collection been digitised?


Yes, a number of the records in our collection have been digitised and are available to view in the catalogue. These digitised records are indicated by a thumbnail image attached to their catalogue entry.


I have found records in the catalogue that I am interested in. How do I access them?


If the records have been digitised, you will be able to view images or download PDF versions of the material through the items catalogue entry. If no digital version is available, you will need to book an appointment to view the items in person at our archive. The CWGC archive is located at our headquarters at 2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX, United Kingdom. You can book an appointment by emailing enquiries@cwgc.org. Please provide details of which items you wish to see, including the file reference and title, and we will book an appointment for you. We kindly ask that you provide us with as much notice as possible of your intended visit, typically at least 10 days.

The Archive is open to visitors on the following days and during the following hours:

DayOpening times (AM)Opening times (PM)
Monday10:00 - 12:3013:30 - 16:30
Tuesday10:00 - 12:3013:30 - 16:30
Wednesday10:00 - 12:3013:30 - 16:30
Thursday10:00 - 12:3013:30 - 16:30
Friday10:00 - 12:3013:30 - 16:00


Please note: The Archive is closed at weekends and during public holidays.


Is it possible for you to undertake research for me?


Unfortunately we do not have the resources to undertake extensive research on your behalf, although we are sometimes able to provide answers to very quick and simple queries. If you are unable to visit the Archive in person, you may be able to appoint a professional research to visit and undertake research on your behalf.


Can I request copies of records in the catalogue?


We are unable to provide copies of the records shown in the catalogue, but we do welcome researchers visiting the Archive and using their own digital cameras to copy material. Such copying is done on the understanding that the material is to be used for their own private research and is not to be shared or published without the prior consent of the CWGC.


How do I reference items in the catalogue in a piece of academic research?


We advise the following conventions for referencing documents held in the CWGC Archive:

Name of repository, the full alphanumeric catalogue reference (Ref No)

For example:

CWGC Archive, Add 1/1/167

When citing photographs, please include the name of the repository, the name of the cemetery/memorial, and the photograph number.

For example:

CWGC Archive, Cassino War Cemetery, 21100_001

When citing architectural plans, please include the name of the repository, the name of the cemetery/memorial, and the alphanumeric file reference in the drawing's filename.

For example:

CWGC Archive, Royal Berks Cemetery Extension, B76-001


Why can't I find items listed after a certain date?


The CWGC archive does not have strict and formal closure periods for its records, but treats all requests for access on a case by case basis, assessed on their own merits. While much of the archive collection is open to the public, it may sometimes be necessary to apply restrictions or closures to some material, for reasons of confidentiality and sensitivity. For example, Commission Meeting minutes are subject to a 30 year closure period, so the most recent minutes are unavailable for public consultation.
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