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Visitor Survey 2022 results

Posted in News on 10 Mar 2024

The Royal Berkshire Archives, formerly the Berkshire Record Office, took part in the 2022 Survey of Visitors to UK Archives between 11th and 28th October 2022. The survey is run by the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) Surveys Groups in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

If you would like to read them and see how we scored, you can download the survey results or read them online below.

Visitor survey 2022 digest.pdf

1.1    The results

Headline scores for RBA

  • Our service was rated 9.3 out of 10 for the archive overall

  • Our service was rated 9.8 out of 10 for the availability of staff

  • Our service was rated 9.9 out of 10 for the attitude of staff

  • Our service was rated 9.8 out of 10 for the quality and appropriateness of staff advice.

Overall satisfaction ratings of satisfised and very satisfied over 90%:

  • our opening hours at 98%

  • the ease of finding us at 100%

  • the appearance/upkeep of the building at 98%

  • the access to and in the building at 100%

  • the lockers/toilets/rest or refreshment areas at 100%

  • the welcome/reception at 100%

  • the appointment/online booking system 98%

  • the availability of our computers at 100%

  • the speed of our computers at 100%

  • the quality of our online catalogue at 92%

  • the quality of our other online resources at 91%

  • the availability of seating at 100%

  • the quality of our paper catalogues at 95%

  • the quality of our other paper resources at 93%

  • the document ordering system at 95% 

  • the document delivery system at 97%

  • our copy services at 92%

Overall satisfaction ratings below 90%:

  • the usability of our online catalogue at 84%

  • the access to other online resources at 76%

  • the access to WiFi at 77%

  • the facilities to charge personal computing devices at 78%

  • the microfilm and microfiche facilities at 83%.

Our typical visitor:

  • arrives by private transport (67%)

  • stays 3.2 hours (89%)

  • undertakes family history research (31%)

  • is male (54%)

  • has an average age of 58

  • ethnicity is white (100%)

  • is in the 10th decile (least deprived).

There has been a slight decline in the number of visitors carrying out family history research since 2018. Other areas of research were academic at 24%buildings at 22% and local history at 20%.

10% of our visitors were visiting an archive service for the first time. Of those for whom it was not their first time, 86had visited the RBA before and 57% were regular visitors.

80% of visitors prepared for their visit by emailing or telephoning the archives and 69% went online to check opening times/find directions.

For 60% of our visitors, coming to RBA was the sole reason that they were in Reading that day, though 20% indicated that they would be using local hospitality, retail and/or transport facilities.

10% of our visitors indicate that they have a long lasting physical or mental health condition, but 100% of those who responded (5 cases) advised that they did not experience any barriers to accessing the service.

Our visitors were also asked what benefits they had experienced from visiting the archive:

  • 88% agree that they developed news skills or improved existing skills

  • 96% agree that they gained a greater understanding of (their) community, its history and people

  • 100% agreed that they found the evidence I was looking for

  • 85% agreed that they learnt something unexpected.