A look behind the scenes of Somerset House, register office of births and deaths.
Full title reads: "Somerset House".
Somerset House, register office of births and deaths, London.
Various shots of woman with baby sitting in front of Registrar at desk. The woman and the Registrar sign the baby's birth certificate.
Various shots exterior of Somerset House. C/U of sign: 'Register Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Search Room'. Various shots woman entering Somerset House. Various shots of woman filling out a form. She hands the form and a shilling to man sitting beneath sign reading: 'Births A -J'.
Various shots of woman taking out large record book from shelf. She scans it for the required entry. Top shot of rows of people scanning record books. M/S of woman handing over more money and a form to man at enquiry window, in order to obtain a copy.
Various shots of two men in brown coats in the archive vaults. They take more record books off the shelves, looking for original document requested by woman. The documents come up on mini-lift from basement. Various shots of women in a typing pool, copying documents from original record books. Various shots of woman returning to enquiry window to collect her copy of document.
Various C/Us of examples of unusual documents from the Somerset House archives; death certificate of man who was trampled to death at public execution, marriage certificate where groom is described as fat, Thackeray's marriage certificate, marriage certificate of French composer, girl's birth certificate with 20 first names, another with last name of 22 letters, 16th century documents.