Reading room services to resume from 8 December

We can confirm that our reading room services will resume from Tuesday 8 December, in line with the new local restriction tier system.

All visitors must continue to book their visit and order their documents in advance. We will be offering greater capacity in our reading rooms, with more documents per visitor and a greater choice of bookable dates, including Saturdays.

We will open reading room bookings on Tuesday 1 December at 12:00 (midday). As our services have been suspended for a four-week period we are expecting increased demand, and so we will be making bookings available for the period of Tuesday 8 December to Saturday 2 January (inclusive), excluding Christmas and New Year closure dates.

We want to give as many people the chance to access records as possible, and in consideration of this we will initially be asking visitors to book no more than two visits in this period. Bookings for subsequent dates will be released on a more regular basis soon.

We were forced to cancel the bookings of a number of visitors earlier this month, when national restrictions came into effect. We will be contacting these visitors directly to ensure that they are able to re-book their visit before we make bookings more widely available, and will be re-opening our reading rooms for some of these visitors on 3 and 4 December.

Before planning a visit, we would encourage visitors to refer to government guidance relating to local COVID alert levels and how travel restrictions might affect your visit – this applies to any areas you might need to travel through, as well as the areas you are travelling to and from. From 2 December, The National Archives is located within a High alert area (tier 2).

We are currently unable to offer some of our regular services, including access to our reference library and our exhibition spaces. We are also unable to offer record copying in our reading rooms, although our online record copying service is now available on a limited and reduced basis, usually opening for orders every weekend. Our paid search service remains suspended.

All of these arrangements are subject to change at short notice, due to factors outside our control. Please check our website or social media for further updates.