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Visit Us

** Restricted Opening **

We are now accepting bookings but still have our Covid restrictions in place to ensure our staff and visitors remain safe - please read our Covid guidelines before booking and before visiting.

Due to limited staff numbers onsite we are not currently able to answer phone calls so should you need to contact us please fill out our enquiry form.

Opening Hours 


We are open to visitors on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with separate morning and afternoon sessions. 

Morning session:   10.00am to 12.30pm

Afternoon session: 2.00pm to 4.30pm

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

We will still have our Covid restrictions in place to ensure our staff and visitors remain safe - please read our Covid guidelines before booking and before visiting. Please also note the main points below before reading the guidelines.

  • When requesting a booking please provide alternative dates in case your first choice is already fully booked.
  • We can now accommodate two visitors to the searchroom per morning or afternoon session please let us know if you wish to bring someone with you.
  • All archive documents need to be pre-ordered. Lists of document references are needed three working days in advance.
  • We now allow free browsing of the searchroom items (e.g. microfilm/microfiche/parish register transcripts).
  • Once your visit is confirmed by us we will only get in touch if there’s an issue.

Please see our Code of Conduct for searchroom visitors. 

How to Book a Visit

Due to limited staff numbers we are not currently able to answer phone calls. If possible please contact us by email to book space in our searchroom; if this is not possible then leave a message on our answering machine. Please note we are not able to accept visitors without an appointment. 


Telephone:  01234 228833 

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. 

Once your booking has been confirmed, we will need you to tell us what material you would like to see and we will have it ready for you when you arrive. Please  search our catalogues to find references for the items you would like to view. Over 90% of our catalogue listings can be found there.    

Catalogues Search Button

How to Find Us

We are in the Riverside Building at Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP. Access is via a pedestrian footbridge from Prebend Street.  

Maps showing our location and information about public transport and parking can be found here.

If the outside doors are locked please use the intercom just to the left of the glass entrance doors.  Press the button labelled 'Archives' and it will connect you to one of our staff, who can let you in. 

You may wish to bring a mobile phone with you to telephone us on (01234) 228530 if you have any problems accessing our building. 


We do not usually request identification from our visitors, but please be aware that due to Data Protection regulations it may be required in order to consult certain records.   

Depositing Archives

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