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Hertfordshire County Council

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies re-opens on Wednesday 9 December.

Here's how things will work to keep everyone safe.

  • Numbers of visitors in the reading rooms will be restricted.
  • You'll need to make an appointment and pre-order all documents, books and other items ahead of your visit.
  • You'll need to make a separate appointment for either the Archive reading room or for the Local Studies Library.
  • A quarantine system is in place for pre-booked and returned items.


You'll also notice other things like hand–sanitiser stations, screens and floor markings indicating routes around the room.

 

Book an appointment

Booking is now open for 2½ hour slots to use either our archive reading room or the local studies library.

Make a provisional booking online or call us on 0300 123 4049 at least 7 days before you plan to visit.

You'll be restricted to 2 sessions per week. They can be on the same day (subject to availability) but you can't remain in the building between sessions.

  • Morning sessions will be staggered from 9.30am - 12.40pm
  • Afternoon sessions will be staggered from 1.45pm - 5pm.

Please arrive on time for your booking and a member of staff will greet you at the door. Once your session has ended, we request that you leave promptly.

Bookings are not transferable. If you can't attend your session or you're running late, please contact us as soon as possible.

Book 2 spaces if you're planning to visit with another person.
 

Before your visit

To make best use of your time before you visit, search our catalogues to identify what you need to see.

 

Order items before your visit

All items will need to be ordered in advance, at least 7 days before your visit. This includes any library items and Ordnance Survey maps. You can order up to 8 documents per visit.

Please list the documents you wish to see in order of preference and include the document reference number. If there are any issues with your request, a member of staff will contact you.

We're currently unable to offer browsing and no additional items can be ordered on the day.

Browse the archive catalogue

Check Hertfordshire Names Online

Browse the book catalogue

Looking for a map? Get the Ordnance Survey map reference and include that with your requests

Let us know in advance if you have any access requirements.

 

When you visit

Test and Trace

We'll keep a secure record of your visit which may be shared with the NHS test and trace service, if necessary. This is to help reduce the risk of a local outbreak and is in line with government guidance. Details collected solely for this purpose will be deleted after 21 days.

 

Things to bring with you

  • A face covering, unless you are exempt from wearing a face covering.
  • Bring your HART archives card with you. If this is your first visit, bring some ID with you (showing name, address and signature) and we'll issue you a day pass.
  • Bring your own pencil, note paper or laptop / tablet with you. We can't loan any equipment or stationery.
  • Wi-Fi is free so you can search our catalogues using your own device. It won't be possible to browse paper catalogues on the day.
  • We'll allocate you a locker for your personal belongings.

 

About your visit

  • Staff will be on hand in our reading rooms to provide help and advice.
  • Toilet facilities will be open (and more frequent cleaning is planned).
  • Public computers and microfilm readers will be available and will be allocated on your visit. Let us know if you need a study table as well.
  • We quarantine documents after use so a document may be unavailable on the day of your visit. Wherever possible we will contact you before your visit.
  • You can access Find My Past and Ancestry websites in the local studies library only.
  • Photo permits will be available for purchase as usual if you wish to take your own photographs.
  • We ask you to use contactless cards for payment.

 

Heritage shop

Our heritage shop is still open online. But you won't be able to browse the physical shop in the local studies library.

Currently, we can't provide facilities for hot drinks or snacks. Please don't stay any longer in the public foyer areas than necessary.

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