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Successful searches will produce catalogue references (which for registered designs always begin with ‘BT’).

Once you have found a catalogue reference for a representation or register that you would like to see you will need either to visit us, so that you can see the original in person, or request a copy to be sent to you (£).

If you know or can find a registered design number you should be able to find the respective register entry or representation in our collection, though it will be easier for some than for others.

This guide explains how you can locate individual images or samples of these designs, known as ‘representations’, within our collection.

There is also advice on how to find other details about each design, including the identity of the copyright owners or ‘proprietors’ – usually the manufacturer or retailer rather than the designer.

Where listings have been enhanced the extra details include: In some instances, you can also search by proprietor using the indexes to proprietors which were created as part of the original records but you will need to visit us to use them.

See the tables in sections 5 to 11 for details of which records come with indexes.

Objects whose design has been registered should have a design number marked on them.

However, in the case of wallpaper and textiles, usually used in sections, the design number is unlikely to be visible.Today designs are registered with the Intellectual Property Office.Although the system used for registering designs continued to change as subsequent Acts of Parliament extended and amended design copyright law, from 1842 the process always involved two basic record types: representations and registers.The same number is recorded in the register so that you can cross refer between the two record types.In the registers were recorded: At The National Archives, these registers and representations have been split into various record series, each one determined by the most recent Act of Parliament in place when they were registered.This changed with the 1839 Designs Registration Act which provided protection for all ‘ornamental’ designs.

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