Plans have been unveiled for an archive complex for north east Cumbria.
Carlisle Castle houses the present archives service
Lottery cash is being sought to help fund the ambitious project to transfer material from Carlisle Castle to Lady Gilford House in the south of the city.
The move will give a new lease of life to the listed Lady Gilford House, which overlooks the River Petteril.
Cumbria County Council says the new complex will have enough space for tens of thousands of archives as well as room for future expansion.
Tim Heslop the authority's cabinet spokesman for Archives said: "The present accommodation at the castle is simply not big enough to meet the public demand.
"We also need to modernise our storeroom facilities to protect the thousands of archives we hold and can't do that given the historic monument status of the Castle."
County Archivist Anne Rowe added: "We have seen a real explosion of interest in archives over the last 10 years.
"Thousands of people visit the Castle every year to find out about their family, house or local community."
The new complex will give access to a wide range of local historic documents dating from the 12th Century to the present day.