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Frequently asked Questions

Q1. What are your opening hours?

We are open to visitors (by appointment only) on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with separate morning and afternoon sessions. 

Morning session:   9.30am to 1.00pm

Afternoon session: 2.00pm to 4.30pm

Please note that we are CLOSED on Thursdays, weekends and all English bank holidays. 

Our late evening opening on Mondays (5pm-7pm) is by prior appointment only. See Contact the Archives section for more information.

Q2. Do you operate a booking system?

Yes, this is so that we can better manage demand for use of the service by visitors.  We try to keep the system as simple as possible.  However, please contact us by telephone (01234 228833) or email indicating the date you would like to visit and whether am/pm or all day, and the subject of your research - e.g. family history, house history, buildings and land use, general local history, research for educational purposes into... We don't need exact details but if you do know what you want to use feel free to let us know, e.g. maps, correspondence, estate records, parish records, illustrations.  It would be also be useful to know whether you have visited us before. 

Q3. Do you operate a reader's ticket system?

No, but you will be asked to provide your full name and address and to sign up to comply with our Code of Conduct.  Identification may needed to view certain records covered by Data Protection legislation.

Q4. Can I order documents in advance of my visit?

We now ask that all customers provide a list of document references at least three working days in advance of their visit. 

Q6. Is there car-parking on site?

Only for blue badge holders or people delivering or collecting bulky items.  For more information see the Visit Us page. For people using wheelchairs or who are restricted from walking any distance please see the Accessibility page for further information. 

Q7. What copying facilities do you offer?

We have black and white and colour photocopiers, and can provide digital scans of documents. See our policy on copying and Fees, Charges and Reproduction for details. We also allow photography in the searchroom, not with flash and for private use, provided documents are not put at risk and you don’t disrupt other visiting users. Please see our charges for photography page for details.  For advice on commercial use, copyright, and any other issues etc., please consult our page on copyright and reproduction and get in touch.

Q8. Can you do research for me?

We can in certain circumstances.  Please see our research and enquiry service.

Q9. Can I order and pay online?

Unfortunately we do not yet have an online ordering facility.  We do have an online payment facility for customers who have already contacted us, agreed payment and received an enquiry number. Any customers wishing to pay by card for copies taken on-site during their visit can do so using their own smartphone or device. A member of staff can provide further advice on the day.