Can't see the wood for the trees?

Let me help you.



On time, on budget


Having worked on a variety of television documentaries, I know how important it is to work on time and within a strict budget.

Creative research methods


I have a strong record in delivering tailored research from a range of sources in English, French and German.

Thoroughness and discretion


Each research project is undertaken with attention to detail, efficiency, integrity and discretion.

  • Television and radio programmes
  • Screenplays, books and thesis
  • Genealogy and family history
  • Bespoke research services
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Television and radio programmes

I can flesh out a basic programme idea, or find sources and track down contributors which will help make your story stand out.

  • Background research: archives, libraries, telephone interviews, online, etc.
  • Tracking down potential contributors and preliminary interviews
  • Contents research: films, photographs, sound recordings, newspapers, maps, etc.
  • Location services in the UK and abroad
  • Fact checking

Screenplays, books and thesis

Do you want some background research done or are looking for someone to research archives but you have no time or don’t know where to start? I can assist you if you require a London-based researcher to scour large and small archive repositories and collections, from the National Archives to the British Library.

  • Reading and summarizing with an eye for good storytelling
  • Interview of sources
  • Complementary research for your thesis, dissertation or personal project
  • Experience in assessing accuracy and authenticity

Genealogy and family history

Passionate about social history and drawing on my experience in researching historical television documentaries, I can also research your family history by using traditional and non-traditional sources (such as photographs and films, maps, press cuttings, objects, etc.), in order to provide a fuller picture of your family roots.

  • Building a family tree from scratch
  • Interviews of relatives to record their memories for posterity
  • Tracking down descendants or lost relatives
  • Sorting, scanning, digitising of family photographs, films and videos
  • Archive research in London and the South East of England
  • Photography service for your ancestors' places of residence, local churches or burial places in London and the South East of England

Bespoke research services

I offer research services in other areas, such as business intelligence and investigations.

  • Background research on organisations and individuals
  • Research for all types of business projects
  • Information gathering for business plans
  • Research for private events (anniversaries, holidays and travel arrangements, purchases, etc.)

All investigations are carried out with great care and with the utmost discretion.

As I was scouring photographs in a French archive for the television series The First World War, I came across some genuine yet little known colour photographs known as autochromes. The technique was developed by the Lumière brothers in the early 20th century and used during the First World War. These photographs show the war in a new light: the French trenches beneath a clement blue sky, the bright red uniform of a French officer, the gray-orange cap of a German prisoner of war, the green grasses of no-man's-land, the rose on a French nurse's uniform, the celebratory multicoloured fireworks in the Paris skyline in 1919. It was clear to me that they would add a new, original and fascinating dimension to the story: the true colours of these photographs bring the subject closer to us without glorifying the war. I tracked down hundreds of autochromes from a range of public and private collections across the globe, some of which were included in the TV series (they illustrate the opening credits) and the accompanying book written by respected historian Hew Strachan. When the series came out, the photographs were taken up by the international press, including the Sunday Times Magazine, Libération, Der Spiegel and Elsevier, and used as part of the series’ promotional material. I was later awarded the Picture Researcher of the Year award by the History Today magazine for my piece of research. The jury noted: “his work complements the thesis of Strachan’s text and, to those of us who have looked at a lot of First World War images over the years, appears as fresh and exciting. He also took immaculate care to ensure the images were as close as possible to the historical reality."

Hello, I'm Gregor Murbach.

I am a professional freelance researcher. In a world of information overload, I am able to source and track down the right answers to help take your projects forward. Previously, I was an assistant producer on a range of critically acclaimed programmes for British and international TV channels. Fluent in French and German, discreet and reliable (I’m Swiss, it’s in the genes), I have a degree in International Relations and a Masters in Documentary Production. I am also an independent researcher at the National Archives in Kew and at the Caird Library and Archives (National Maritime Museum) in Greenwich, London.

Testimonials

  • Gregor worked with us as an archive researcher and then archive producer from pre-script to delivery on The Eichmann Show. He played a central role in sourcing and negotiating the rights for all the archive we used across eight countries, was brilliant at working to the budget we had and extremely creative with his suggestions for material. He also found footage no one knew existed and played a key role in the success of the project. We are already working with him on a new project and will continue to I'm sure on many more.

    Laurence Bowen (executive producer)
    Feelgood Fiction

  • Gregor is an expert in his field and one of the best archive researchers I’ve have the pleasure to work with. He over-delivers on brief and budget and is extremely efficient. I would highly recommend him for any archive project!

    Fiona Fletcher (head of production)
    back2back

  • Our problem was to unearth the provenance of an 80 year old archive of photographic slides from the Balkans. From only the most meagre clues, Gregor solved the problem with the resourcefulness of a skilled detective. A remarkable achievement and a book now in progress as a result. Thank you Gregor.

    Prof. Randall Baker & Dr Bob Speer

  • A very big thank you for all the help and information you have found for me. We are so pleased with your efforts and our behalf, if needed again, I would not hesitate to use you, and to give your name to anybody who wants that service.

    Doug J., Essex

  • You have done a remarkably comprehensive job, which has intrigued my children! Thank you.

    Bob F., East Sussex

  • Resourceful, tenacious and creative, Gregor's contribution to The First World War on both page and screen was immense, and rightly recognised by the judges of the History Today award. I would have no hesitation in warmly recommending him for any research job.

    Andrew Gordon
    David Higham

  • Gregor was the principal researcher for the Channel 4 series on The First World War. His work was quite simply outstanding, bridging languages and media, and played a crucial role in ensuring the excellence of the production.

    Professor Hew Strachan
    All Souls College, Oxford

  • Gregor has worked as a researcher for me on two documentary film projects for television. Both required information from a variety of English and foreign sources - academic, archival and visual. He performed admirably in all areas. He also displayed exceptional thoroughness and tact in finding potential interviewees.

    Martin Smith (producer/director)
    About

  • Gregor unearthed a treasure trove of archive from sources as diverse as the Eton College and National Archives. I couldn’t fault his work in any way, he was diligent, thorough and most importantly intelligent and able to take a lateral approach to the research and explore hitherto unconsidered lines of enquiry.

    Fiona Cotter Craig (producer)
    Monkey Kingdom

Contact information

Let me know more about your project and I will get back to you as soon as possible. As builders say round here, "no job too big, no job too small".

Picture credits: Birch forest - railway clock - light bulb - key - television - First World War autochrome - Carla del Ponte - Violette Szabo - Shanghai - palm trees - petrol pump medal

Website (c) 2015 - Gregor Murbach