Opening times

We’re free to visit and now open to all between Tuesday and Saturday, and on the first Sunday of September and October (exhibitions, cafe and shop only, 11:00-16:00).

Our building opens to visitors at 09:00, until the reading rooms close. Our exhibition spaces are open all day, but the opening times of our other services vary.

Reading rooms

Tuesday: 09:30–19:00
Wednesday: 09:30–17:00
Thursday: 09:30–19:00
Friday: 09:30–17:00
Saturday: 09:30–17:00

Documents can be ordered between 09:30 and 15:30.

Our other services

Our café is open Tuesday to Friday, between 09:00 and 16:00, and on Saturday between 09:00 and 15:00.

Our shop is open Tuesday to Saturday, between 12:00 and 17:00.

Our car park is open from 08:00 and closes 30 minutes after our building.

Sunday opening

We are opening our exhibition spaces, cafe and shop on the first Sunday of September (5) and October (3), between 11:00 and 16:00. See our blog for more details, including how to book for our free exhibition tours.

Please note that our reading rooms will not open on these dates.

Closure dates

We are usually closed for bank holiday weekends (including the Saturday), and for Christmas and New Year. All dates listed below are inclusive.

  • Christmas (2021): Friday 24 December to Tuesday 28 December (closing at 17:00 on Thursday 23 December)
  • New Year’s Day (2022): Saturday 1 January to Monday 3 January
  • Easter: Friday 15 April to Monday 18 April (closing at 17:00 on Thursday 14 April)
  • Early May bank holiday: Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May
  • Spring bank holiday and Platinum Jubilee bank holiday: Thursday 2 June to Saturday 4 June
  • Summer bank holiday: Saturday 27 August to Monday 29 August
  • Christmas (2022): Saturday 24 December to Wednesday 28 December
  • New Year’s Day (2023): Saturday 31 December to Monday 2 January