Preparing to re-open our reading rooms in April
We are pleased to confirm that we are planning to re-open our reading rooms on Tuesday 27 April, in Step 2 of the government roadmap out of lockdown.
When our reading rooms re-open, our services will include:
- Over 100 reading room places per day, five days a week (Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00-14:50)
- 12 documents per day limit, plus three reserve documents in case of unavailability
- Two-day places available for visitors wishing to research bulk document orders (between 20 and 40 documents from the same catalogue series)
- Supplementary research resources, including finding aids, microfilm/fiche and library materials, available to pre-order
- Staffed enquiry desks and access to computers for visitors using the reading rooms.
All visitors must continue to book their visit and order their documents in advance. This helps us to maintain the safety measures that remain in place, including document quarantine and social distancing.
Our priority will be to give access to as many people as possible and demand is likely to be high. We will therefore initially be asking visitors to book a maximum of two visits in a rolling four-week period. We will keep this limit, and all of our arrangements, under regular review.
We will provide further details about our re-opening, including details of how to book, through our website and social media channels.
Status of our other public services
We look forward to resuming our full public service in the future. While site access is limited, the status of our other public services is as follows:
- Our record copying service will resume shortly. We will process orders placed before lockdown before taking new orders in late April.
- Access to digital records on our website remains free of charge, while our reading room services are limited.
- Our paid search service remains suspended.
- Our exhibition spaces remain closed, with exhibition content available online.
- Our events programme remains online, with a full range of talks, webinars and family activities.
- Our education programme remains online.
- Our Freedom of Information (FOI) service is operational, but – depending on the nature of the enquiry – our response may be delayed while we address the current backlog of work. Staff access to the collection remains limited, due to the safety measures in place.