Posted on

Using our Images and Documents catalogue

One of the main ways we provide access to our archives is through our images and documents catalogue, which you can access here:

In this newsletter we have put together some guidance about what the site contains and how you can use it.

What does the catalogue include?

In our archival collections we hold a wide variety of types of material, including:
In addition, we also have books and other publications which are catalogued separately in our library catalogue:

The images and documents are held in our storerooms at Watlington House in Reading, or as digital files on our server. All of the material listed in the catalogue may also be consulted for free in our reading room (except in a few cases, usually indicated in the catalogue entry).
Part of the recently acquired Alan Stoyel Collection
As our collections are always growing, we regularly move material to Upper Heyford, an old air base now converted to archive storage. Our collections are housed here in archival standards compliant storage alongside those of other UK archives and museums. All the items at Upper Heyford are easily retrievable for viewing by appointment in Reading.
The Upper Heyford airfield

How to search the catalogue

There are lots of ways to search the catalogue. The simplest is to use the search bar at the top of There is another search bar further down the page which allows you to search the images only.

You can see some of the options listed on the left under the words ‘Browse by’. These include:
Mills Database

In our separate Mills Database you can find more details about the mill buildings and their locations, with links to related images and documents. We will feature this more fully in a future newsletter.
Unidentified mills

We often add pictures of mills which are unlabelled and which we don’t recognise. Please get in touch if you can help identify any!
An unidentified post mill in Nord, France
From the Rex Wailes Collection at the Mills Archive (REXW-IMG-03-512)
Mills by country

On this page you can filter images by country (and then in the UK by county), as well as by mill type. This will allow you to, for example, bring up all the images we have of skeleton mills in Norfolk:

Partner archives

We also host archives held by mills which support us through our heritage partner scheme, including Upminster, Heage, Cranbrook and Oldland windmills.

How items appear in the catalogue

Each item in the catalogue looks like this:
At the top the ‘Treeview’ shows where this item fits into the context of the collection it is part of (e.g. the above image shows one of the Suffolk windmill photos in the Peter Dolman collection).

On the right the ‘purchase image’ button allows you to buy a high resolution copy of the picture through our shop. Where the entry has a PDF document rather than a digital image, you can view this for free by clicking the image of the document.

Below this are links to the related subjects and names of people and places, which will allow you to find other related items. More details on the item are given at the bottom of the page.

New addition to the catalogue: Duffield Family Collection

Recently our volunteer Guy Boocock complete the cataloguing of the Duffield scrapbook. This was put together by W L Duffield of Tasburgh Mills, Norfolk, and contains cuttings from journals and newspapers on milling themes, 1885-1940. These have all been scanned and are available as PDFs:

Fires in mills and similar buildings seem to have been a particular interest of Duffield’s and there are numerous images, such as these:
Fire at King’s Cross
Fire at Atlantic Mills, Barry Dock
St Saviour’s, Tooley Street Fire
You can explore the images and documents catalogue yourself at If you have any further questions or problems with using the site, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.