What to bring with you
You need to show suitable identification to use our public research room and access original documents. You can also bring and use personal equipment.
To visit us, you'll need to:
- use an Archives and Records Association (ARA) Archives Card.
If you do not already have an Archives Card, please register for one online before your visit. This replaces the discontinued County Archives Research Network (CARN) reader’s card.
All first time users of an ARA Archives Card will need to bring ID to validate their application. Arrangements have been made to show ID, at a safe distance. You can find a list of acceptable ID here.
By registering using the ARA Archives Card system, we'll be able to log your visit, in case of contact tracing. See our privacy notice for more information.
On subsequent visits we will ask to see your ARA Archives Card card as proof of identity, and for contact tracing.
The ARA card will be valid for five years from the date of issue. When your card is due to expire, we will replace it providing you show us appropriate proof of identity again.
You are welcome to bring laptops, mobile devices, cameras and stationery into the public research room. The research room is fully wi-fi enabled.
Equipment must have a current Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) label if you want to connect it to our mains electricity supply . We offer free portable appliance tests, which are done at your own risk - please tell a member of staff if you would like to take advantage of this offer.
You can use a camera or mobile device to make copies of most original documents and publications - please see Making copies during your visit
To protect our documents, please use pencils, rather than pens, whilst in the public research room. You can buy these at our reception, along with notepads and other essentials.