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Visiting the Modern Records Centre

The Modern Records Centre

The Modern Records Centre is currently open to University of Warwick researchers. We will be reopening to external researchers on 28 June.

In order to comply with social distancing measures, we are currently restricting the number of researchers that we can accommodate and access to the research area will be by appointment only. Please give us as much notice of your visit as possible, but at least a minimum of one full working day (i.e. more than 24 hours).

At present access is limited to the University of Warwick students and staff. We will be reopening to all researchers on 28 June.

When are we open?

The Modern Records Centre is currently open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Sessions are bookable for mornings (9.30-12.30) and/or afternoons (1.30-4.30).

We will be closed between 12.30 and 1.30pm. Cleaning of the research areas will take place during this time.

After 28 June we will be open on Monday - Friday with no lunchtime closure.

What new measures are in place due to Covid-19?

A maximum of five researchers can now be accommodated in the searchroom.

All researchers are now required to book a place and order documents a minimum of 24 hours before your visit (though more notice is preferred). This allows us to ensure that a desk space is available and that the documents can be produced in advance.

A maximum of six boxes or 15 individual items can be ordered per person per day.

In line with government and university guidance, visitors will need to wear face coverings whilst in the building.

Hand sanitiser is available at the searchroom entrance.

A one way system is in place at the entrance (the revolving door will not be in operation).

We strongly encourage all visitors to complete a Lateral Flow Test and obtain a negative result prior to attendance. We also kindly request that all researchers have their temperature checked in the Main Library foyer prior to their visit to the MRC. The temperature scanner is located on the ground floor entrance to the Main Library.

How can I order documents?

Archives must be ordered by email or telephone at least one full working day in advance of a visit.

Please list the individual document reference numbers for each file or item that you would like to see. The reference numbers can be found through our online catalogue (guidance on using the catalogue is available elsewhere on our website). Please list your documents in order of preference in case we are unable to produce all items on the list. A maximum of six boxes or 15 individual items can be ordered per person per day.


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 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.

Standard searchroom rules

As well as the new rules introduced to help reduce the risk to researchers and staff from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have existing searchroom rules to help ensure that the material which we hold is preserved for present and future researchers, 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
  • 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)

Can you research a subject for me?

Although we can do a small amount of research in response to enquiries we are unable to undertake extensive research. If you are unable to visit, you may like to commission a private researcher to work on your behalf. Information about local researchers is maintained by Warwickshire County Record Office and the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA).

Will I be able to access wi-fi at the MRC?

Visitors can use either eduroam or the Warwick Guest wireless network whilst at the Modern Records Centre. You can register for the Warwick Guest wi-fi service through IT Services.