Archive Reopening

  • 3rd August 2020

We are reopening!

We are pleased to announce that we are reopening our original archive searchroom to the public from Tuesday the 8th December.

We’re operating a phased approach to re-opening to help us to ensure that Worcestershire Archives is a safe space for all, and that the services we offer can be delivered safely. It also gives us the flexibility to review our approach as required. We know that some people have been asking when we’d be reopening, but we wanted to ensure that everything was in place to do it safely and facilities were in place in The Hive.

We’ve been reviewing our procedures in light of Government guidance, The National Archives advice, and with our colleagues in The Hive. We’ve made a few changes to our usual service, with details below. We’ll be opening Tuesday to Thursday, 10:30am-3:30pm, with five people able to visit each day, each of whom must book prior to visiting and pre-order documents. With new Government guidance we’ll now be asking visitors to wear facemasks.

Archive staff are still answering enquiries using our online enquiry form, and our Conservator and Digitisation team are back in The Hive and working with safeguards in place.
The Historic Environment Record desk is reopening in November, and are answering online HER enquiries. The self service area will remain closed for the moment.
Worcestershire Archaeology (our archaeology field section), is working on sites (with safety measures in place), and the specialist teams are still working at home. Our Outreach team is also working.
We look forward to starting to welcome people back next month!

New Procedures
What you can expect when we re-open:

  • Opening hours will be Tuesday to Thursday from 10.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
  • Space will be limited to 5 customers per day. Each customer will be able to only book one day per week to allow for as many customers as possible to visit.
  • Each booking is limited to one person only. If you are visiting with another person, they must make a separate booking.
  • Booking must be done through our online booking system at least one week in advance of your visit using the booking form. You may book up to 4 weeks in advance.
  • Please also use this system to pre-book your items in the additional requirements section. You will able to pre book up to 10 items per visit. If you need any assistance with reference numbers, please submit an enquiry form ahead of your booking and staff will be able to advise. Please be aware that we will not able to produce additional items on the day.
  • We will do our utmost to meet the requests for documents however there may be occasions when this is not possible, such as if the record is closed, uncatalogued or damaged. Submitting your booking in advance gives us the opportunity to check this.
  • If you do not have a valid readers ticket, please register for an Archives Card before you visit at
  • We will not be able to accommodate anyone without a booking and each booking will be on a first come first served basis.
  • The self-service area will remain closed until further notice and there will be no use of microform or CD resources at this time. Please get in touch if you would like to check something on your behalf.
  • You will be assigned a desk and a locker on arrival. Please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before entering the searchroom.
  • If you have any specific access or mobility requirements, please let us know in advance.
  • Indexes and finding aids will be for staff use only. Please use online facilities where possible.
  • If you are unable to visit but have a request for us, please submit an enquiry.
  • In line with government guidance, a track and trace system has been implemented at all public libraries across Worcestershire.
    ALL visitors to The Hive will now need to provide contact details to staff on arrival.


What to bring with you:

  • Archive Card, valid CARN Ticket or other ID showing name and address
  • Pencils
  • Notepad and/or laptop
  • Camera (no photocopying facilities will be available but digital copies can be ordered through the online enquiry system or during your visit). Photographic permit and digitisation charges can be found on our website.
  • No food or liquids (including hand sanitiser) will be allowed in the searchroom. Sanitiser stations are available throughout the building.

Visitor Charter:

With special measures in place for the foreseeable future, we would ask everyone planning a visit to Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service to help us ensure everyone’s safety by committing to our new visitor charter. This charter is modelled on that produced by The National Archives.

The Hive:

Please also check The Hive website for general library and building specific arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions about reopening


2 responses to “Archive Reopening”

  1. David Everett says:

    Will wearing a face-mask be obligatory?

    • Paul Hudson says:

      We’ve been checking the new Government instructions. Libraries and museums are now included in the places where facemasks must be used, and archives will come under this so visitors will now be asked to wear facemasks here.

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