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Visiting the Modern Records Centre

Visiting the MRC

How can I find out what you have?

Information about the Modern Records Centre's archive collections is available through our online catalogue. A guide to using the catalogue is available online and you can also contact us to ask for advice or further information.

How do I register to use the Modern Records Centre?

Use of the Centre is open to all and is free of charge. On your first visit to use the MRC we will ask you to register with us as a researcher by filling in a form and showing an item of identification - your student card would be fine. You will be asked to complete a new research application form every academic year (August-July).

Do I need to contact you before a visit?

It isn't compulsory, but we do strongly recommend that you contact us before a visit so that we can provide advice on available sources, access restrictions and any other factors which might affect your visit.

Can I order documents before I arrive?

Yes - we can get documents out in advance for you if you supply us with the reference numbers of the documents (at item or file level - not the reference number for the whole collection) and give us at least one full working day's notice before your visit (staff are unable to pick up enquiries or orders on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holiday Mondays).

What can I use in the research area?

Almost all archive repositories (including the Modern Records Centre) have restrictions on what researchers can take into the research area or searchroom. This is to help protect the documents in our care and ensure that they will continue to be available to all visitors. We ask that you:

  • Use pencil, a laptop or a tablet to make notes when consulting archives (not pens)
  • Leave your bag and/or coat in the lockers provided or with the searchroom supervisor
  • Don't have any food or drink with you (this includes water)
  • Keep all the papers and files in order and not remove or re-arrange the papers in any way — if you shuffle the documents around, it can make it harder for future researchers to (1) locate them, and (2) understand the context and connections between the sources
  • Keep noise to a minimum — this is a quiet study space (it may be possible to arrange to use a small meeting room if you would like to discuss the sources with colleagues)
  • Only have three archival files or other items at your desk at a time (except with the permission of the searchroom supervisor)