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Terms and conditions

Whatever your reasons for visiting Shropshire Archives, we are keen to make your visit as enjoyable and successful as possible.

Each time you visit us onsite, you need to sign our visitors’ register.

After signing the register, you are welcome to use all the material on open access in the Reading Room. This includes standard books on Shropshire, a general reference section and a large collection of family history sources such as printed books, microfilms and microfiche. The library catalogue lists many other sources and you can see these by asking at the enquiry desk. Rare printed books, archives, photographs and some newspapers can only been seen in the Searchroom. If you want to consult these sources, you will need to register for a Shropshire Archives Reader’s Ticket.

To help preserve the collections at Shropshire Archives and to provide a pleasant atmosphere for all visitors, we ask that you follow these rules:

Rules for all visitors

  1. No smoking is allowed anywhere in the building.
  2. Eating and drinking is only allowed in the visitors coffee room. Please do not place any food or drink on tables in the reading room.
  3. Personal stereos and mobile phones may not be used in the Reading Room or Search Room.
  4. Dogs are not allowed in the building (except guide dogs).
  5. We welcome visitors of all ages, but we ask that the right of other researchers to study in a peaceful atmosphere is respected. Please do not carry on conversations to the annoyance of other people.
  6. No items may be removed from the Reading Room or Search Room.
  7. Return microfiche, microfilms and books to their proper places.
  8. Please handle material carefully as this will help to preserve it for future generations.
  9. Ask staff if you wish to photograph any material. We do charge for a photography permit. Staff can make photocopies and we have a reprographics service for digital images and prints.
  10. Please treat staff with courtesy.

You are welcome to use the coffee room off the reception area where you will find a drinks machine and lockers. Shropshire County Council accepts no responsibility for any coats, umbrellas, bags or other personal possession left anywhere on the premises. Lost property is kept for 6 months; ask at Reception if you think you may have left something.

Please note that in the interest of security a member of staff is required to remain at the Search Room issue desk at all times. The amount of assistance that person may be able to give you until another member of staff returns may be restricted. In the mornings volunteers from the Shropshire Family History Society can give additional help.

Guidance for viewing original documents

Your Reader’s Ticket gives you access to the original sources, rare books, photographic archive and other irreplaceable material held in the Shropshire Archives. Please help us to preserve this material for the benefit of future generations. As the material is at its most vulnerable when it is being used for research purposes, we ask that you carefully read and apply these rules when using these rare or unique records.

  • Pencils only may be used in the Search Room as any ink may permanently mark documents.
  • No food (including sweets), drink, bags or coats may be brought into the Search Room. Lockers are provided for your convenience in the Coffee Room. Please wash your hands after eating or drinking.
  • To protect maps and certain other vulnerable documents from damage through contact with your hands, clothing, etc., staff may cover them with clear polyester.
  • If staff put out a document or map, please do not move or return it without further advice.
  • Please handle documents as little as possible and take care in turning pages and in touching seals.
  • Use the supports provided with volumes as this will prevent damage to their spines.
  • For your own protection from the dust and grime on some documents, staff will lend you cotton gloves, if appropriate. Some documents may be too dirty to issue. Gloves must be worn for consulting photos.
  • Leather covered weights or book snakes (available in the Search Room) can be used to flatten rolled documents and to hold open volumes, but do not use inappropriate force. Please do not lean or rest your notebook (or yourself!) on any document.
  • Please keep all loose pages in the order in which you find them.
  • Documents and other materials may not be removed from the Search Room.
  • Staff have received special training in handling documents, please feel free to ask their advice.
  • Please note that from Wednesday to Friday we get out documents on demand up to 1pm. On a Saturday please order in advance.
  • Photographs may be taken of documents under certain conditions. See our Photography in the Search Room guidelines for further details. You will need to purchase a photography permit (day, month or year). We don’t allow the use of document scanners.
  • Information must only be used in accordance with current legislation, in particular with due regard to the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act and Copyright Act. All information is for private research use only, unless by permission of Shropshire Archives.
  • We may not be able to produce all documents you request due to preservation or legal restrictions. If this is the case, staff will explain why in more detail.

We want you to enjoy using the resources at Shropshire Archives and are keen that you make as much use as you need of them, but we are also dedicated to preserving Shropshire’s history for the benefit of future generations.

Rules for computer users

You can use the computers in the Reading Room to access Internet sites relating to local and family history.
You can access other Internet sites, providing you follow the rules for Acceptable Use.

Printing and Downloading

You can print out pages, subject to copyright laws. You are responsible for the pages you print. Please pay for a print card at the counter and check instructions for selecting your prints from the print terminal. See staff for further information.

Rules for acceptable use

  1. You will need a valid Shropshire Archives Reader’s Ticket or Shropshire Library Card to use the computers. (If you have a Library Card, we may need to check your details with the Library Service.) You will be allocated a computer and your ticket will be kept by staff while you are using it.
  2. Computers (including the Internet) should be used for information, recreation and educational purposes only.
  3. You must not use the Internet or email for sending, receiving or viewing material which is offensive, abusive, indecent, obscene or menacing. You must not breach copyright, confidence, privacy or any other rights.
  4. Shropshire Council takes no responsibility for any consequences of online transactions from our terminals including the transmission of personal information e.g. credit card or bank details, addresses, etc.
  5. If you are observed accessing or sending inappropriate material, staff will ask you to stop. If you repeat the offence, your computer access will be withdrawn and the police may be contacted.
  6. We take bookings in advance for a maximum of 2 hours.
  7. Some PCs are reserved for registering and document ordering.