Plan your visit
From 19 July, Shropshire Archives is resuming normal opening hours of 10am-4pm Wednesday to Friday.
We will keep some measures in place to help visitors and staff feel confident in being at Shropshire Archives including:
- keeping windows open for maximum ventilation and retaining the perspex screens.
- cleaning surfaces at the start of each day but there are plenty of wipes and hand sanitiser in the Reading Room if you want to make use of them.
- keeping social distance. Distancing helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 and also reduces the potential risk of needing to isolate. We are a small team, so if staff need to isolate this has an impact on the service we can provide and could potentially result in the temporary closure of the Archives.
- keeping advance booking only for archive material and fiche/film readers and PCs , although you will now be able to drop into the Reading Room without booking to browse books and recent maps.
Please be mindful of other people, especially as you are in an indoor setting. Some visitors and staff may prefer to wear masks.
Please do not visit if you have tested positive for coronavirus, are isolating or have any of the symptoms including:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- a sore throat
Before you visit…
1. Register as a Reader
If you want to consult archive material, 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.
2. Book your space
If you want to check archive material or electoral registers, please book in advance. We have limited spaces available. We also recommend that you pre-order your first 6 documents so that they are waiting for you when you arrive. We will be able to get some extra items from our stores if needed at 10.30am and 11.30am.
Microfilm and microfiche readers and PCs have a separate booking form. Again, there are limited spaces and these must be in advance. You can book a machine as well as a search room space if needed. Each machine can be booked for one 2 ½ hour session. We will clean machines at the end of the day. Hand sanitiser and wipes will be available for you to use.
At the moment we have a limited number of machines available, so these are just for looking at archives and local/family history. For other PC use, please book at your local library.
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.
Please order documents, maps and books in advance as far as possible so that we can have them ready for your visit.
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.
5. Further help
If you have any queries about visiting please do email us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help.
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.
You may take digital photographs of some of our records but we do charge for a permit. You can purchase your photo permit in advance if required using the quote form.
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.
We’ll be keeping the windows open for ventilation.
7. When you arrive…
Please sign our visitors book when you visit. You can also use the QR code to log your visit with NHS Test and Trace.
There will be a member of staff to welcome you, verify your registration if necessary and allocate any machine (such as a computer or microform reader). If you are viewing original documents, please show your Reader’s Ticket to a member of staff, who will let you into the Search Room. Further guidance for registered readers using the Search Room is available.
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 will not be able to take bags and coats into the Search Room. Use the lockers and coat racks in our coffee room to store coats, bags and other possessions safely.
Food and drink
We have a small coffee room and there are also benches outside. Drinks and food are not allowed in the Reading Room or Search Room.
8. Check the time
If you want to order additional items when you visit, then you can do this at timed points during the morning (10.30am and 11.30am). In the afternoons, we have limited staff on duty so can’t fetch extra items from our stores.
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]