Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council


Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service

To celebrate our 107th birthday our Community Archives have become Community Histories. Visit our Community Histories section to explore our new map.


We are the County Record Office for Bedfordshire.  Anyone may use our service and the archives we hold for research either in person or remotely.  We are based in Riverside Building, Borough Hall, Bedford.


**27th November 2020 Update**

Archives Service to reopen to pre-booked visitors from Monday 7th December

Following the government announcement that lockdown in England will be lifted at the beginning of December and that Bedfordshire will be under Tier 2 restrictions the archives service will reopen for appointments from 7th December. The restrictions previously introduced to ensure safety will still apply. Details can be found here

In line with government guidance we will not be able to accommodate visitors from areas in Tier 3 unless their visit is necessary for work or educational purposes. We will offer alternative methods of access where possible and will keep the situation under review.

The service opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-12.30, 2-4.30 and we can only accommodate one researcher per morning or afternoon session.



To visit us: You must make an appointment before visiting.  Contact us by telephone (01234 228833) or by email ( saying when you would like to visit and an idea of what material you would like to see.  If you want to see any original documents please ensure you search our catalogues online prior to your visit.  Over 90% of our catalogue listings can be found there.  We hope to be able to accommodate your visit on your preferred day but may have to advise you that we are better able to meet your needs on another day.  When you visit staff are on hand to help and advise you.  

N.B. Whilst we don't usually request ID from our visitors, please be aware that ID may be required to consult certain records due to Data Protection laws.  

Depositing archives takes at least half an hour, please make an appointment and ensure that you have allowed sufficient time. Please read our guide for depositors.

Our opening hours (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY) are:

MONDAY:        9.15am - 5pm (by appointment only)
                        5-7pm by pre-arranged appointment only (see below)
TUESDAY:       9am - 5pm (by appointment only)
WEDNESDAY: 9am - 5pm (by appointment only)
FRIDAY:          9am - 5pm (by appointment only)
The office will only remain open from 5-7pm when we have received and confirmed bookings for Monday afternoon/evening by 4pm on the previous Friday.  If no bookings have been received the office will close at 5pm. (We are closed on Thursdays, weekends and all English Bank Holidays.)


Visiting us in person: see our Visit Us page for guidance.

Unable to visit us in person: we offer an enquiry & research service.

Do you have a question about our archives? Fill out our enquiry form.

Would you like to join us as a volunteer? See our volunteers and work experience page.


Follow us on Social Media!

Social Media Logos

Follow us on Facebook as Bedfordshire Archives. We are also on Twitter and Instagram as @BedsArchives. 


Our latest annual report for 2019-2020 is now available.