Later this year CIPFA will be running the biennial Distance Enquiry Services Survey, which seeks feedback from archive customers who user letters, email or other electronic methods to make enquiries.
Fifty-five record offices participated in the last (2015) survey, and 2,357 responses were received. The survey revealed some interesting insights, including the fact that one in five respondents (19%) made enquiries from outside of the UK and 14% of respondents lived outside of Europe. Half of respondents (51%) were contacting the record office with regards to family history research, while 47% said they lived too far away to visit the archive. Overall, the results demonstrate that archives provide an international service, with benefits extending beyond the physical building.