Outline: People Search

When we offer to do a search for someone, we ask for a letter in which you officially request and authorise that we undertake the search on your behalf and explain how you are related to the person sought.

I am not a lawyer, and suggest that you might consider asking a friend or lawyer who can draft this document for you. That is entirely up to you.

Essentially this letter is needed in order to clarify our relationship, and also so that we can use the document in cases where, for example, archives will ask for proof that we are entitled to ask questions on your behalf.

The letter should give us power to approach individuals and institutions on your behalf, to authorise them to issue any documents which may be available. I will be happy for my "powers" to be limited in any way you see fit.

I think that this covers the main points, and what is likely to be necessary. Naturally, if you feel that anything should be added, you are welcome to do so.

Before a search begins, we then get as much detail as possible from you, in particular:

  • Everything you KNOW - and where the facts came from
  • Everything you GUESS - and where the guessing came from
  • Everything you have tried already - so that we do not duplicate
Obviously there is never a guarantee of success, but we will always do our best detective work on your behalf.