Visit the archives and museums

Experience the history of Hertfordshire first hand with a visit to our archives or museums.


We have re-opened with an appointment-only system and social distancing measures.

Book an appointment for Tuesday - Friday morning at least 7 days before you plan to visit. If you know what you’d like to see, please prioritise document requests in order of preference.

Archives re-opening - what you need to know

Visit the archives

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Register Office Block
County Hall
SG13 8EJ

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies is now CLOSED

We open again today at 9am

Opening hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 12.30pm
Saturday: 10am - 2pm
Sunday: Closed

Facilities and directions to the archives

To view original archive documents at HALS, you will need to obtain a Hertfordshire Archives Reader's Ticket (HART). To get one of these on the day of your visit you will need to bring proof of identity and address with a signature, such as:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • recent utility bill.

A full list of valid forms of proof is available from HALS.
If you still hold a valid County Archived Research Network (CARN) ticket then we will continue to accept this as proof of ID until the card expires.

We have free lockers and a seating area for you to use when you visit.  You can't bring food, drinks or bags into the reading rooms.

We regularly have events and displays, including getting started at HALS.

Taking photos and digital copies

You can take your own pictures of documents when you come and visit. You can also download digital images from our microfilms to your memory stick. Ask us for a pass. Prices for photos or digital downloads – there are 2 types available:

Day pass – £10

Half day pass – £5

Annual pass – £100

For a combined pass (allowing photos and downloads of microfilm images):

Day pass – £15

Half day pass – £7.50

Annual pass – £150

Look at a document from our collection

When you find a record that you want to view in person, you can pre-order the document so it's ready when you arrive. You don't need to book a seat ahead of your visit.

You can pre-order up to 3 documents

You can ask to see more during your visit.

You can also pre-order documents we hold off-site on Tuesdays to Fridays.  Order by 11am or 2.30pm and they'll be ready to view within an hour. Order by 10am on Fridays.

Visit a museum

There are over 40 museums in Hertfordshire. From the Natural History Museum in Tring to smaller museums across the county, you'll never be short of things to do.

Each of our museums hold group tours for large visits so you can get a better experience of the history when you visit.