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Frequently Asked Questions

What will I find on the ViewFinder website?
ViewFinder is a major online resource of photographs of the historic environment, mostly drawn from the national collections maintained by the English Heritage Archive. The photographs - including historic buildings, archaeological sites, aerial photographs and social history pictures - are just a small selection from the much larger holdings of English Heritage. More images are chosen and added each quarter.

What other historic archive does the English Heritage Archive hold?
Our collection of over 8 million photographs covers all parts of England and includes images of modern and historic buildings, streetscapes, gardens and archaeological sites taken from the ground and from the air. It includes 2 million aerial photographs, including complete aerial cover of England taken in 1946-8. We also hold thousands of plans, drawings and reports. These can be viewed at our Swindon search room; contact Archive Services on 01793 414600 or archive@english-heritage.org.uk to find out what we have. Large databases of information about historic buildings and archaeological sites are available online at English Heritage Archives, Images of England and PastScape.

Large databases of information about historic buildings and archaeological sites are available online at Images of England www.imagesofengland.org.uk and PastScape www.pastscape.org.uk

Why are some of the counties wrong? I live in Bristol, not Avon (etc)
The 1974-2000 counties and districts are still used on the main NMR database from which ViewFinder information is derived but work is underway to bring all administrative information up to date.

Can I buy a print?
Photographic prints of most of the images on this site may be purchased for private and research use. Either use the 'buy a print' tab on the navigation bar against each image on the site, or contact Archive Services on 01793 414600 or archive@english-heritage.org.uk.

Can I use your images in a book/website?
All the photographs, other images and text on this site are protected by copyright and all rights are reserved. Specific copyright holders are identified for each image. Reproduction of part or all of the contents of this website in any form is prohibited other than for individual use only and may not be recopied and shared with a third party. Photographic prints of most of the images on this site may be purchased for private and research use. Any use beyond that, and all reproduction including use on other websites, requires a licence and may incur a reproduction fee. Please contact Archive Services on 01793 414600 or archive@english-heritage.org.uk to discuss your needs.

I am a teacher. Can I use these photographs in the classroom?
All the photographs, other images and text on this site are protected by copyright and all rights are reserved. Specific copyright holders are identified for each image. However, if you are a teacher in primary, secondary or tertiary education you may make copies for your reasonable teaching purposes within the classroom without applying for permission from us.

I have some historic photographs. Do you want them?
We believe that it is usually more appropriate for collections with a local focus to be deposited with a local record office or museum where they are more readily accessible to local people. Thematic collections may be more appropriately deposited with a relevant subject museum or institute. However, the NMR has accepted a number of important national collections over the years. If you would like to discuss this, please contact the Acquisitions Officer on ian.leith@english-heritage.org.uk.