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Research & Archives

The Curatorial  department currently supports a number of major research projects - including the Yorkshire Country House Partnership - which deal with various aspects of the history of the family, house, collections and grounds. The research is focused around the extensive archive held at Castle Howard.


The Castle Howard Archive is a private archive belonging to the Howard family. It is supervised by the curator and assistant curator, and is open to established scholars and other researchers by appointment only:

  • All enquiries must be addressed in writing to the curator, stating clearly the object of study and any personal qualifications held. All applications to visit are at the discretion of the Hon. Nicholas Howard and the Curator.
  • Applications must be made at least six weeks in advance of the requested date of visit. 
  • The papers held within the archive date primarily from the building of Castle Howard in 1699 and are concerned with the history of the estate, the house and the family.
  • There are some papers relating to land holdings outside Yorkshire and the Howard estates in the north of England. 
  • A copy of the index for the Castle Howard Archive is available for consultation at the National Register of Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU. Tel: 020 8876 3444. All researchers are strongly advised to consult this document in advance of any application to visit Castle Howard. 
  • There is also a summary description of the holdings in the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts publication, Principal Family and Estate Collections: Family Names A-K, Guides to Sources for British History (London: HMSO, 1996) 
  • Access is not allowed to uncatalogued material or fragile items. 
  • All researchers must supply a letter of reference, and upon arrival they will be asked to read and sign a copy of the 'Regulations for Research at Castle Howard'. The following categories of researchers are recognised: 
    • Full-time students working on a thesis or dissertation. Normally access is allowed on condition that a copy of the completed thesis/dissertation is given to the archive. An element of the reading charge will also be levied depending on the demands made on the archive. 
    • Academic researchers and other scholars working towards a publication. There is a requirement that one copy of the publication is given to the archive. 
    • Genealogists. However, due to limited staff resources, commitments to existing research programmes with visiting scholars and researchers, and to major in-house cataloguing projects, Castle Howard is not normally able to accommodate applications to visit by genealogical researchers. Only in the most exceptional circumstances might it be possible for a genealogist to visit. 
  • Photocopying of any materials is always at the discretion of the curator. A charge will be made for photocopying. Copyright of all material is retained by Castle Howard Estate Ltd. Application for permission to publish material from the Castle Howard Archive should be made in writing to:
    The Curator, Castle Howard, Castle Howard Estate Limited, York YO60 7DA