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London's Public Records Office


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Hi Everyone!

I was hoping that there were some among you who have done research at London's PRO before. I'm technically not a graduate student (yet), but I'm doing an honors history thesis on British logistics during the American Revolution. 

I've been fortunate enough to have circumstances allow me to do some original research in London. I've identified hundreds of sources that are germane to my topic. 

With the scholarships that I've received, it doesn't seem as though money is going to be the issue. My question for everyone is, how much time do you think I'll need to conduct this research? I'm not sure how to attach a file to this post (or if I'm even able to), but to give you a rough idea, the excel spreadsheet I have has over 284 lines, each line corresponding to a source (in some cases, one source is multiple pages). So, literally hundreds of documents. 

My plan is to photograph these documents, or photocopy them if they're on microfilm, and then bring the files back home to LA and begin sifting through the data. Has anyone done something like this, and if so, can you shed some light or give me an idea as to how long this may take?

Thanks in advance! My email is: email.dougdaniels@gmail.com in case you want me to forward you my spreadsheets, so you can see what exactly it is that I'm hoping to access. 



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It's hard to say specifically how long this would take. I suggest that if you pre-order the documents you will require, this could save you a lot of time. If on your arrival you registered for a readers ticket, this would enable you to order documents to view for the next day and save you a lot of time. I believe that, as standard, you can only do this for 6 items. However, and I haven't actually done this myself, there is also the ability to 'bulk order' if the documents you require are in the same department (allowing up to 50 docs to be pre-ordered). If you won't be spending too much time with the originals (and just require them to photograph) there is no reason why you couldn't work through your sources fairly quickly. If you were to find that you ran out of time you could, of course, use their own copying service - copies could even be provided to you electronically so you needn't still be in the country. Personally, for hundreds of documents, I'd allow maybe a week or so. That gives you a day to figure out how the system works (and register so that you can pre-order) and a few days to work through photographing the documents you require.

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