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General access conditions

Covid-19 closure: The Modern Records Centre is currently closed and MRC staff have limited access to the original archive collections. There may therefore be a delay in answering enquiries which require staff access to original documents.


Use of the Centre is open to all and is free of charge. On your first visit to use archives you will be required to complete a research application form and to prove your identity. Acceptable forms of proof include university card, passport, driving licence and County Archive Research Network (CARN) ticket. You will then be given a copy of the research application form as your proof of registration.

The Centre keeps a copy of the form to compile statistics relating to the use of the Centre, to remain aware of current research interests, and to maintain current contact details for its researchers. The forms are destroyed when they are three years old. You will be required to complete a new research application form every academic year (August-July).

Under the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 we are also required to seek your permission to hold the information contained on the registration forms. There is therefore a separate GDPR permissions form to sign when you register.

Searchroom rules

When using the Centre you must abide by our rules. We have these rules to ensure that the material which we hold, much of which is irreplaceable, is preserved for present and future researchers like you, and to maintain our searchroom as a place for quiet study. The rules require that you:


  • Enter your details in our visitors’ book each day you visit
  • Leave your bag and/or coat in the lockers provided or with the searchroom supervisor
  • Use pencil, a laptop or a tablet to make notes when consulting archives
  • Handle all material carefully
  • Support the spines of volumes with a book rest or cushion
  • Keep items within files or bundles in the order in which you found them
  • Ask the searchroom supervisor for permission if you wish to take photographs of documents
  • Show consideration for other users by keeping conversation and other sound to a minimum

 Do not 

  • Have any food, liquid or smoking material with you whilst in the searchroom
  • Use pens and ink when consulting archives
  • Lean on documents, or rest papers or notepads on them whilst making notes
  • Mark documents in any way
  • Use a mobile phone to make or receive calls
  • Use a tape recorder (except by special arrangement)
  • Use a scanner on the documents (all copying of archival material, except by hand-held photography, must be done by Centre staff)
  • Have more than 3 archival files or other items at your desk at a time (except with the permission of the searchroom supervisor)
  • Take archive boxes to your desk (except with the permission of the searchroom supervisor)