Opening times

We’re open to the public between Tuesday and Saturday, and on the first Sunday of every month.

Our services can vary on different days of the week, and different days of the year.

Exhibition, shop and cafe

Tuesday 09:00–19:00
Wednesday 09:00–17:00
Thursday 09:00–19:00
Friday 09:00–17:00
Saturday 09:00–17:00
First Sunday of every month 11:00–16:00
Closed on other Sundays and Mondays

Our exhibition gallery and shop are open when our reading rooms are open, and on the first Sunday of every month.

We serve hot drinks and light bites from 09:00 Tuesday to Saturday, until 30 minutes before we close (and from 11:00 on the first Sunday of every month).

Breakfast is served until 10:30 Tuesday to Saturday, and lunch is served between 12:00 and 14:30.

Reading rooms and library

Tuesday 09:00–19:00
Wednesday 09:00–17:00
Thursday 09:00–19:00
Friday 09:00–17:00
Saturday 09:00–17:00
Closed on Sundays and Mondays

You can register for a reader’s ticket or collect a pre-registered ticket between 09:00 and 16:00, Tuesday to Saturday.

Once you have your reader’s ticket you can order documents between 09:30 and 16:00 on these days.

Research advice is provided between 09:00 and 17:00 when our reading rooms are open.

Car park

Our car park is open to visitors between 08:30 and 20:00 Tuesday to Saturday, and between 10:30 and 16:30 on the first Sunday of every month.

It also opens when special events are happening outside these hours.

Charges apply for visitor parking, and payments should be made on foot at the machines within our building before you depart.

We do not allow parking outside these hours for the security of our site.

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: Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 December
  • New Year’s Day (2020): Wednesday 1 January
  • Easter: Friday 10 April to Monday 13 April (closing at 17:00 on Thursday 9 April)
  • May bank holiday: Friday 8 May to Saturday 9 May
  • Spring bank holiday: Saturday 23 May to Monday 25 May
  • Summer bank holiday: Saturday 29 August to Monday 31 August
  • Christmas 2020: Thursday 24 December to Monday 28 December
  • New Year’s Day (2021): Friday 1 January (closing at 17:00 on Thursday 31 December)