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Searchroom one is equipped for independent study with access via staff to the Local Studies library and resources such as Electoral Registers (pre 2000), trade and telephone directories.

We have computers with free access to websites such as ‘Find my Past’, ‘Ancestry’ and the British Newspaper Archive. Microfilm and microfiche readers are also available including two specialist machines to assist visitors with visual impairment.

Facilities for listening to sound recordings and viewing videos can be arranged but must be booked in advance. Our Wi-Fi can be used throughout the searchrooms with power sockets available for laptops.

Our newspaper collection on microfilm can be viewed in searchroom one using film readers, with the option of staff-operated printing through a digital scanner which is also compatible with microfiche.

Searchroom two has an enquiry desk that covers both searchrooms; this is where documents are requested from the strongrooms for supervised viewing. There are ample study tables with an area specifically for viewing maps and larger documents, with the most recent Ordnance Survey maps available in plan drawers nearby.

The shelves and drawers around the room hold our indexes and catalogues and more of the Local Studies Library. Access to these is via staff only.

Gift Shop

The gift shop stocks a range of books about local people and places with historical interest as well as maps, greetings cards and gifts.


Free Wi-Fi is available at the Office. You are welcome to bring laptops and tablets for use in the searchrooms, with electric sockets available to use.


The reception area has comfortable seating and tables where visitors are welcome to sit and eat their own food and view the temporary exhibitions displayed in this space. A machine selling hot drinks and a free drinking water dispenser are available.

Visitor toilets (including an accessible toilet) are available near the reception area.