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  2. Exploring family records
  3. Coming soon: 1921 Census of England & Wales

Is there any way I can view the 1921 Census for free?

Anyone will be able to view the digital images of the 1921 Census of England and Wales for free on the premises at The National Archives at Kew upon release on 6 January 2022 (00:01 GMT). The original paper census returns will not be available in the reading rooms. The paper records will be kept secure by The National Archives at their offsite storage facility and readers at The National Archives at Kew will be directed to the digital version. This is to ensure the preservation of the paper records for years to come. Searching the 1921 Census will be free on Findmypast but viewing any images or transcriptions will be on a pay-per-view basis using Findmypast micropayments. 

In addition, the 1921 Census will be free to view via Findmypast at the Manchester Central Library, on St Peter’s Square, Manchester, supported by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society helpdesk and the Archives+ Team, and at the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth. 

What about access in other libraries? 

The 1921 Census will not be immediately available within any subscription, including via libraries. It will only be available via pay-per-view access for the initial period. Library patrons will still be able to purchase 1921 Census returns like any other user via a personal account. They will not be able to do this within library accounts. This is to ensure that credit card details cannot be shared or compromised when using public computers.

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