Using the collections

We are asking you to pre-order anything you need at the time of booking so that we can have it ready for you when you visit. Please do look at our online catalogue to find the references of documents in advance.  

If you can’t find the document you want then please describe it for us. Contact us and we will try and work it out. 

Bookings must be made at least two working days in advance and sessions will only be made available two weeks in advance.

Please see our Planning a Visit Page for details on how to book.

Please do bear with us as we may be slower to respond due to reduced staff access.

Please do note that in the current circumstances we cannot guarantee to accept document orders on the day of your visit.  

Please also note that we will have to quarantine items after use. This may mean that a document is not available on the day of your visit. If so, we will aim to tell you before you travel.  

Please remember to bring any papers and pencils that you need as we cannot provide these for you. Please also bring a face-covering to wear while you are in the Record Office. 

You will be asked to sit at a specific desk and consult your items. Please leave them on your desk when you are finished with them.  

You will not be able to use self-service items such as microform, catalogues or the library. 

You will not be able to order photocopies or printouts for collection on the day. Instead, you are welcome to use self-service photography for instant copies.  

If you would like to have photocopies or printouts, you will need to complete a form to leave behind.  This will be quarantined together with the items you would like copied. Copies will then be posted to you.  

Only card payments are possible, with preference for contactless. 

Please note that although a session is 2.5 hours, it is necessary to use part of this time for arrival and departure activities (for example to put your things away, use the facilities, make a payment etc.). So a session may only last 2 hours. Please bear this in mind as we have to close promptly at the end of each session in order to clean. 

We recognise that visiting the socially-distanced Record Office will place many more restrictions on visitors than usual. We are sorry about this and hope you will be patient with us at this time. 

Please see our 'When you arrive' page for more details on what to expect when you get here. 

Please allow time before your session ends to pay for anything, use the facilities and collect your things. This has to be done one person at a time which takes time to complete. 

Leaving before the session completely ends, will enable us to close promptly at 12:30 and 16:00 in order to quarantine documents and clean everything down ready for the next session. 

If you, or anyone at home, has COVID-19 coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating,please do not visit.