Our searchroom is open to the public and admission is FREE. Here you will find details of the services available in the searchroom.
Feel free to contact us should you need any further help.
We ask all searchroom users to abide by our searchroom regulations. Please read these regulations before your visit.
Ordering documents in the searchroom
You may place an order to see original documents in our public searchroom. All requests are dealt with as we receive them and we aim to produce all documents within 20 minutes.
Due to reduced staffing, we can only bring new documents up from our strongrooms between 10am-12noon and 2.15-3.30pm. You can continue to use documents during the lunch period which are already in the searchroom.
To order a document, you need to complete a document request slip with the full reference of the document. You can use our searchroom finding aids or our online catalogue to identify the document reference.
We only issue up to three documents at a time. If the documents contain loose papers we may only issue one at a time to keep them separate.
Ordering documents in advance
The references of the documents you need
Your CARN ticket number
The date and time that you wish to view them
A contact telephone number in case we need to discuss your order.
£5 for the first extra document
£1 for each subsequent document up to nine documents in total.
If you do not hold a valid CARN ticket, there will be a £3.00 administration fee, payable at reception when you visit.
Other searchroom services
- Free public WiFi is available. Please note you will need a mobile phone to register for the WiFi
- Staff can photocopy documents at the discretion of the Duty Archivist as not all documents are suitable for photocopying. Please see our list of charges for current fees. There may be a delay completing orders during busy times or over the lunch period. Photocopies cannot be made if copyright will be infringed.
- You can photograph documents with your own digital camera. Please see our list of charges for current fees. You will be asked to complete a copyright and data protection declaration form when you visit and flash photography is not permitted. In some cases the Duty Archivist may not allow photography is an item is too fragile.
- There is a nominal charge for the use of a safety adaptor when powering a device from the mains. Please see our list of charges for current fees. There is no charge for using a device on battery power.
- If you are planning your first visit to the record office and would like some help finding your way around the searchroom, then you may be able to book a volunteer. If you wish to book a volunteer please contact us either by telephone or email in advance of your visit.
- A dedicated archive assistant can be booked to assist researchers when examining a large collection. This is charged at £150 per day, including a one hour lunch break. Please contact us at least one week in advance to discuss your requirements. Please provide the date of your proposed visit and details of the collection you wish to consult.
- Public PCs are available in the searchroom and the reader’s tea room, with access to subscription sites including ancestry and findmypast. Dedicated PCs provide access to our digitised maps and the British Newspaper Archive.
- Printing is available on A4 or A3 paper and in black and white and colour. Printing must be collected from reception at least 30 minutes before closing time. Please see our list of charges for current fees.
- Microfilm and microfiche readers are available providing access to parish registers, local newspapers, the national probate index and censuses from 1841-1901.
- A coin operated self-service reader-printer is also available. Please see our list of charges for current fees.