What can I expect when I visit?

We’re doing all we can to help everyone feel safe when they’re on site, but we need your help too.

We recommend that all visitors wear a face covering during their visit. We also encourage visitors to wash their hands regularly and maintain a reasonable distance from each other.

We do not allow gloves to be worn in our reading rooms, unless you are handling photographs, in line with long-standing guidance relating to the preservation of our collection. All visitors are asked to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their visit to the reading rooms.

Taking a break

Our café is now open between 09:00 and 15:30, Tuesday to Friday, offering food and drink to visitors who have booked their visit in advance.

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

Please note that we are only accepting contactless payments.

Getting help with your research

We are now offering research enquiry services in our first floor reading room between 09:30 and 17:00, and in the map and large document reading room between 11:00 and 13:00. Our email and Live Chat enquiry services are also available on our website, and we would recommend that you use them to plan your research before you visit.

Computer access is now available to all visitors.