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Shropshire Archives is open in a phased way from 21 April 2021.

Plan your visit

We are really pleased to welcome you back again. We are planning a phased re-opening which will help us to ensure that Shropshire Archives is a safe space for all, and that our services can be delivered safely. It also gives us the opportunity to review our approach with the flexibility to adjust our plans accordingly if required. 

Phased re-opening times and restrictions:

  • Wednesday 10am-2pm
  • Thursday 10am-2pm
  • Friday 10am-2pm

You must make an appointment and pre-order all documents before visiting.   Please do this a week in advance.

Microfilm and microfiche as well as maps and books on the open shelves in our reading room must be pre-ordered.

Our remote Images and Research services will continue to operate so you can request copies or do research if you prefer not to visit in person. There is a charge for this service. See our How to order copies and Research Services pages.

We will be operating with very reduced staffing, for your safety and ours. Please bear this in mind.  We will try and help you make the best use of your visit and we are happy to help as much as we can before you arrive.

Before planning a visit, we would encourage you to refer to government guidance relating to local COVID alert levels and how travel restrictions might affect your visit – this applies to any areas you might need to travel through, as well as the areas you are travelling to and from.

All of these arrangements may be subject to change at short notice, due to factors outside our control. Please check our website or social media for further updates.

Watch our video to help you prepare.

Before you visit…

1. Register as a Reader

Register now.

You must register with us before you visit.  This means that you can

  • Book a space for looking at archives
  • Order documents in advance of your visit
  • Sort out wish lists of document references
  • Order copies of documents

You can read more detail about how to register at Shropshire Archives.  When you arrive at Shropshire Archives for the first time, you will need to bring proof of your name and address so that we can verify your registration.

Please register with us even if you just want to use the fiche/film reader.

2. Book your search room space

Book now.

For the safety of staff and researchers, we only have limited spaces in our search room.  You must book your space.

You will need to book a space even if you just want to look at catalogues or electoral registers on the open shelves. 

We will not be able to accommodate anyone turning up without booking.  

Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis – you will not be able to bring anyone with you unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book – we may cancel your booking if you try to book too frequently (we will notify you if we do this). We want to offer a fair service to everyone.   We will release bookings a few weeks in advance to avoid all slots being taken up at once.

Visit our how to book page for more advice about booking in advance and essential information about pre-ordering documents.

3. Search for and order documents

You can search our online catalogues and help pages at any time using the search bar at the top of each page.

We also have more guidance on the how to search our catalogue page.

For your safety we now insist that everything is ordered in advance. This includes documents, maps as well as all books from our local studies library.

You can 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.

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. Viewing more than 6 items will depend on the nature of the documents and available space.

If items are particularly fragile or are being quarantined it may not be possible to view them. Due to space restrictions, we will not be able to produce large maps .  There are also sometimes data protection restrictions.

Not everything is fully catalogued or online, so if you can’t find what you are looking for, please email [email protected] for advice. If you know the reference, but can’t find it online, you can also book your space and use the notes field to explain this.

4. Book the microfilm/fiche reader or PC

Click here for more information and to book.

We only have very limited machines so these are just for looking at archives and local/family history. For other PC use, please book at your local library.

5. Further help

To help you make the most of your visit, we are happy to email or ring you to discuss your requirements.  If you want to discuss your visit with a member of staff, please indicate this on your booking form or email us at [email protected]   

If the day looks busy, then staff will contact you with an arrival time to minimize queuing in our reception area.

6. What should I bring with me?

Identification or Reader’s Ticket

Please bring your Reader’s Ticket with you.   You will need to show this to a member of staff but we won’t ask you to hand it over.

If you don’t have one, then you will need to pre-register online and bring ID, showing your name and address. 


If you are using our Search Room, you must use only graphite pencils, not pens. This helps preserve the documents.  We will not be able to loan out pencils.

Digital camera

You may take digital photographs of some of our records but we do charge for a permit. Prices will be reduced at the moment. You can purchase your photo permit in advance if required using the quote form.

There will be no photocopying on demand.

 Please read our onsite copying page.

Change for a locker

Our lockers take a £1 deposit (we’ve updated them so they take the ‘new’ £1 coins).   If you don’t have change, we sell tokens (with key ring attached) for £1 which you can use for the lockers.  We will not be able to loan out tokens or store large items of luggage.

We have a card machine for taking contactless payments.


We now have free WiFi for users of Shropshire Archives. It’s an open network. 

Face covering

Face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces such as museums and archives. We realise that there are some instances where people are unable to wear a face covering; if this applies or if you lip-read, you might want to let us know if advance so we are aware of this. More information is on the government website.

Warm clothes

We’ll be keeping the windows open for ventilation.

When you arrive…

If you have been given a specific appointment time, please arrive then. 

Please be aware that you may need to queue both inside and outside the building.

We will have social distancing and hygiene measures in place. 

Please follow all the requests by staff members as they are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.  We will also have additional cleaning processes in place.

Please do not visit if you have any of the symptoms of the coronavirus including:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you develop any of these symptoms while at the Archives, you will be asked to leave.

Staff will keep a record of your visit (arrival and departure time and a contact number). This may be passed to the NHS test and trace.  The information will be kept securely for 21 days and destroyed confidentially after that time. Alternatively you can use the QR code displayed in the reception area.

You will be assigned a desk and a locker.

You will be asked to wash your hands before entering the search room. We will have hand gel available but the residue can cause damage to documents so we advise washing your hands with soap and water before handling documents.


You can bring a pencil, paper and personal devices (laptop / tablet / phone / camera) into the Search Room.  All other personal items should be locked in your assigned locker. This includes all coats and bags, including device bags.  We don’t have space to store outsized bags.

For your safety only 1 person can be in the cloakroom at one time to access the lockers. 

There will not be any refreshment facilities available for customers for safety reasons. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink and use the benches outside (but please observe social distancing). Please wash your hands on re-entering the building.

Customer toilets will be open.

There will not be any car parking on site for customers (except for blue badge holders – please book in advance).

And finally…

We are really pleased to be able to open our doors again.  We will do our best to help you have a useful and enjoyable visit. 

Please bear in mind that any restrictions are for the safety of visitors and staff.  If you have any concerns or queries about visiting, please do get in touch.  The best way is by email: [email protected]