Sessions are available for morning (9.30am – 12.30pm) and afternoon (1.00pm – 4.00pm) slots four days a week. If both slots are available you’re welcome to add both to your booking in order to stay all day, and you will be able to remain working in the Reading Room through the 12.30pm to 1pm period. 

Please note that each booking made is for one person only. If you wish to bring another person with you to your appointment, such as a family member or a friend, you will need to book another appointment for each person. Please get in touch with a member of staff with any questions about this.

When you submit a request we’ll both receive an email. We’ll contact you to discuss your request before confirming the booking.

Please see our catalogue and include the reference numbers of the items you will require. Archives researchers are able to pre-order up to four archive items per half-day booking. Additional archives can be ordered during weekday appointments  – retrievals take place three times a day at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. There is a limit of four items per retrieval period per researcher.
Please note that if you are booking a Saturday appointment you can only view pre-ordered documents – you will not be able to order additional documents on the day.

If you want to book a microfilm reader, please do so on our other booking page.

Please be aware that as part of making your booking, you are agreeing to the following Reading Room guidelines:

  • You will delay your visit if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Coats and bags should be placed in the lockers provided, as these are not allowed in the reading room.
  • All visitors must wash their hands before and after consulting original archives or microfilms, and frequently throughout their visit.
  • Food and drink is not permitted in the Archives Reading Room.
  • When consulting books or documents in the Archives Reading Room you will use a pencil or a laptop to take notes.
  • Archives and Local History is a quiet study area. Please set your laptop and mobile phone to silent. We ask that you take calls elsewhere in the building.
  • Please handle all documents and books with care. If required, we will show you how to use our book rests, weights and stands. If you are unsure of how to use the material please just ask us.
  • Notify us in advance, where possible, if you are delayed or unable to visit.

The personal information you submit will only be used to administer your booking.  It will not be used for any other purpose such as marketing, and it will be deleted one month after your appointment.

Please note that each booking secures space in the reading room for one person only.

As part of the Setting the Record Straight project, the Archives Reading Room will be closed for an additional three days per month from April 2024. You can see a full list of closed dates on the Setting the Record Straight project page.