The Record Office has reopened
Please see ‘Reopening and Booking’ on our home page for new booking procedures and opening hours. Under latest government guidance it is compulsory to wear face coverings in libraries and public reading rooms unless you have an exemption. Visits will need to be pre-booked and we have made some additional changes in the search rooms, visitor facilities and the reception area to ensure we remain Covid-secure. Guidance from the National Archives recommends that archival materials are quarantined after use for up to 72 hours. This means the availability of our records may vary and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We will continue to be able to help by telephone or email and we encourage you to use these methods where possible. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
We want everyone to use and enjoy the resources, activities and events at the Record Office. This is a short guide to help you to plan your visit however if it does not answer your questions please contact us.
There is a free visitors’ car park on the corner of Long Street and Elizabeth Court opposite the Memorial Park. This is a short distance from the office with one designated space for a disabled visitor. If you are disabled and need to book the parking space please contact the office in advance to make sure that it is available on the day you wish to visit.
This is a wheelchair friendly site with a ramp leading from the street up to the main entrance. The inner door is automatic through to the reception, refreshment area and public toilets. All public areas are on the ground floor.
There is an accessible toilet with sliding door near the reception area with a pull-switch alarm for visitors to activate should the assistance of reception staff be needed within the toilet.
All tables are suitable for most standard wheelchairs. There is space at the searchroom tables for a companion to assist.
Most catalogues and indexes are at a medium or low level. Some shelves, especially for library books, are up to 1.8 metres high and others are at floor level. Please ask staff for assistance if necessary.
Most of our chairs are adjustable and on castors. We recognise these are not suitable for all visitors and an alternative can be easily provided.
We have two specialist film/fiche reader machines and a high magnification reader for physical records.
An induction hearing loop is fitted at both the reception and searchroom counters. Staff have been trained to be responsive to those with hearing problems.
We recognise that the Record Office can be very confusing and using original documents can be difficult. Staff are happy to explain how to use the records but cannot devote a huge amount of time to individual visitors. Please contact us about particular needs and we will try to ensure someone can be available to assist.
Assistance dogs are always welcome, although we cannot accommodate other dogs or animals in the public rooms.
We are happy to welcome people who are breastfeeding and can make a private space available if required. Nappy changing facilities are also available.
Visiting with Children
Children are welcome in all the public areas including the searchrooms. Younger children can get bored so please bring books or toys to entertain them.
We aim to be accessible to all visitors. If you have a particular requirement or we can help to make your visit more comfortable, please contact us using the details below.