The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a route to study government papers that until recently would have remained inaccessible to historians under the thirty year rule. The Act allows historians to request copies of documents produced by government bodies that have not yet been released to the public archive. This means that historians now have a way of effectively studying the very recent past. This article is a mix of a practical guide to FoI and a case study of the author’s use of FoI in his own research. It gives advice on using the Act and some of the potential pitfalls.