Guidelines for RCAHMW Search Room Visitors

Welcome to our Library and Search Room.

Protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and visitors is our main priority. We therefore ask you to read these guidelines carefully before visiting.

To ensure the safety and comfort of our staff and visitors we will limit occupancy of our Search Room to permit social distancing and will require visitors to wear a face covering, in addition to enforcing usual archival document handling rules.

Opening times

We are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 – 16:00, Wednesday 10:30-16:30

Do I need to make an appointment to visit the Library and Search Room?

If you wish to view aerial photographs, material covering more than one site or a large amount of archive material, please contact the Royal Commission’s Library and Enquiry Service to make an appointment at least 2 working days in advance of the date of your visit, listing the library and archive items you wish to view.  

Entry will be limited to 3 visitors at a time. Please let us know if you have any special requirements at the time of booking.

You are welcome to use the Library and view small quantities of archive material without prior appointment provided our maximum search room capacity of 3 visitors has not been exceeded.

To book your visit or for assistance with selecting which documents to order, please contact us.

Contact us:

Phone: 01970 621200


Search our archive catalogue at and our library catalogue at

Ensuring the safety of your visit

For the safety of Royal Commission staff and visitors, measures are in place to minimise the risk of transmission of infections.

We will ensure that the Library and Search Room is naturally ventilated during your visit, and we will manage the number of visitors at any one time.

Face Masks

In addition we require all staff and library users to wear face coverings at all times. You will therefore need to wear a face mask in the Royal Commission’s Library and Search Room for the duration of your visit. This is for your own protection and the protection of other visitors and staff.

If, for health reasons, you are unable to wear a mask, you will be excused from doing so, but you will be required to bring a visor with you to wear for the duration of your visit.

This is a legal responsibility through the obligations we have under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), therefore visitors not wearing a face mask or visor will not be permitted entry to the Library and Search Room.

Read our Statement on Use of Face Coverings here.

Social Distancing

For your own protection and the protection of staff and other visitors we ask you to maintain a 2-metre (6.5 feet) distance from others in the Library and Search Room.

Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is provided at the entrance to the Library and Search Room. Please sanitise your hands before entering.

NB. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness on the day of your appointment or you are unable to attend please contact us to reschedule or postpone the booking.

Computer Terminals

Access to computer terminals is available in the Search Room for basic research, looking at our catalogues and GIS systems.  

We strongly urge you to bring your own laptops, if possible. There is full Wi-Fi access.

Please note that the computer facilities and wireless network provided by the RCAHMW may not be used to access or view obscene or other material that could offend other users.

Search Room and Document Handling Rules

  • Please place coats and bags in the lockers provided.
  • Please do not bring food and drink into the Search Room.
  • Please use pencils only.
  • Please do not lean on the material, or mark it in any way; or take tracings without prior permission from staff.
  • Please turn mobile phones and other devices to silent, and keep noise to a minimum.
  • Please ensure the document request slips are kept with the archival items.
  • Please complete the ‘Private photography application’ form (LRS03) prior to taking photographs.
  • Any incidence of theft or wilful damage to the records will be treated as a criminal offence.


Please adopt an open and collaborative approach with our staff whilst visiting and discuss any issues openly so they can be addressed in a positive and respectful manner.

Please treat our staff and visitors with respect at all times.

Everyone will be expected to abide by these rules and failure to do so will result in you being asked to leave the premises.

Thank you


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