The premier resource for tracing your British and Irish ancestors
Important news!
As you may be aware, Origins is now part of the Findmypast family. You can now browse all Origins records alongside many millions more at Findmypast. Head to and use the promotional code ORIGINS1 to browse millions of records for a special price of just £1.
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You can also continue to explore all our records here at Origins until early 2015.
Viewing Images and Maps on   using Java ImageViewer ImageViewer images are TIFF file format. Browsers require a plug-in to display these images. The ImageViewer has been built around a downloadable Java plug-in and, as such, requires a Java enabled browser to work.

Most browsers come with Java pre-installed, therefore the ImageViewer should start automatically when you view an image.

When you first attempt to view an image on a slow internet connection, it may take a few minutes to install the java plugin. During this time the ImageViewer window will display a blank screen.

Download latest JavaOnce installed a Java 'coffee cup' animation indicates the ImageViewer is starting up, and a progress bar will be displayed showing the image being retrieved. The image will load in the viewer window with a set of function buttons at the top of the browser window. Hover your cursor over each button to display a tooltip showing the button function and keyboard shortcut.

Functions include: Save, Print, Zoom, Magnifier, Fit to width/height/window, Rotate, Invert, and Help.

If you experience problems viewing images on, or for more help, please contact Origins Support.
Test if Java is working
To find out whether Java is working on your computer, and get instructions on how to download and install the latest version go to
If the ImageViewer doesn't install automatically
Java is an essential requirement for using the ImageViewer. If the ImageViewer doesn't install automatically you may not have Java installed and may need to download and install the latest version of Java. Java is free to download and use.
Installed Java but cannot view images?

Updating Java
If Java is not working you may need to update to the latest version. Install the latest version of Java from

Confirming / Enabling java
On certain browsers you may be required to click a confirmation button to allow the Java plug-in to run.
For example, the following message is displayed on Chrome:
Click Always run on this site, or similar, to allow the ImageViewer to start.

If Java is installed but the ImageViewer does not work, you may need to enable Java through your web browser. See instructions on how to enable Java for various browsers at
Problems viewing images
If you are experiencing problems viewing images, please visit the Java Help Center, or contact Origins Support.
Setting Image Viewing Preference
To set your Image Viewing Preference to the Java ImageViewer:
  1. Login to your account
  2. On logged in Home page, click Manage your Account
  3. Scroll down to Image Viewing Preferences, and click Edit Preferences link
  4. On Edit Image Viewer Preferences page check the Java plug-in radio button
  5. Click Update to save your changes.
Once your preferences have been set then all images will be displayed using your selected method. You can change preferences at any time using the steps above and selecting your preferred method from the radio buttons.
Updating your browser
If you would like to update your browser to a newer version which might run Java more smoothly visit this page of useful links: Browsers and Utilities.
Viewing images on different devices
The Origins ImageViewer uses Java which is unfortunately not supported by Apple devices running IOS (iPhone, iPad, iTouch) at present. Please use a PC or Mac to view images with the ImageViewer.
Viewing images offline
The ImageViewer is a server-side resource and only available via the website. It is not designed to operate in an offline mode. To view images on your computer offline you will need a software program that can open TIFF images, such as Photoshop or Paintshop Pro. There are several free programs such as Irfanview ( which allow you to zoom and print images on your local machine. Origins have no direct association with the manufacturers of these offline viewers and are unable to provide technical support in their use.