Visit the archives and museums

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


• We are still providing an enquiry service. Please contact us at or 0300 123 4049.

From 13 July, we can provide copying, research and some other services which require access to the collections. We can supply items from the Heritage shop subject to availability.

• You can still explore and research online, via the archive catalogue, Hertfordshire Names Online and Herts Memories

• Ancestry is now available online free for library members

• All archives events, talks and visits are cancelled


Visit the archives

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Register Office Block
County Hall
SG13 8EJ

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies is now OPEN

We close today at 12.30pm

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

On the first Tuesday of every month, we're open until 7.30pm by appointment only. Contact us by 9am on the previous Friday to book.

Saturday opening – we're open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, from 10am to 2pm.

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

Annual pass – £100

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

Day pass – £15

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.