How to book
Booking to consult original documents
We recommend booking in advance as we have limited spaces available.
You can order up to 6 documents in advance via our website.
To order via the website:
- search our online catalogues and help pages at any time using the search bar at the top of each page.
- If you find something of interest choose ‘view or purchase’ and ‘visit and view’ to add an item to your booking.
- if you have multiple items you want to see, you may want to add them to a ‘wish list’ before booking a space.
- Use the notes field for any comments or if you have references for items that aren’t on the online catalogue.
You can book up to a maximum of 6 items through the website. If you want to see more, please contact us and we will advise. You can put a message in the notes field of the booking form or email us.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, please do email us in advance. We won’t be able to get out extra documents on the day.
District Authority records
All records from district authorities 1835 to 1974 (collections: DA1-DA45) are held in our out-store and collected weekly. Please order anything which has a DA reference at least a week in advance of your visit.
Occasionally, access to documents may be restricted if
- the originals are very fragile
- if the documents are very large: we have re-arranged our tables for social distancing so can’t produce very large maps.
- environmental conditions may cause damage: changes in humidity can damage parchment maps and documents
- cataloguing is incomplete: at this time, we won’t be able to issue unsorted boxes
- the information is sensitive; data protection may apply to records which identify individuals within the last 100 years.
- restrictions have been applied by the owner
- images are available online – this helps preserve the originals
We will do our best to review your order and discuss any potential problems with you in advance.
Booking fiche/film reader or PCs
Please read our guidance on booking the fiche/film reader and PCs.
Reading Room spaces
In Reading Room, there are reference books on family and local history as well as trade directories and a selection of local books. There are also Ordnance Survey maps from 1950s onwards, field name maps and town plans. You can also use the Reading Room as a quiet study space.
From the week of 19 July you won’t need to book but can drop in to use the Reading Room.