Bath Record Office is currently closed but we are planning a safe reopening. Although we are closed for research appointments, we are able to respond to enquiries by email, phone or post.

Photograph of one of our volunteers Photograph of one of our volunteers Show image info

One of the Record Office volunteers


Here you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions.

If you have a question which isn't answered here, please contact us.


Do I need to make an appointment before visiting?

Yes, if possible please make an appointment if you are planning to visit us, particularly if you have an interest in seeing specific items. With limited staffing, the office is occasionally closed at short notice, so please be particularly careful to make an appointment if you are travelling far. To avoid disappointment, remember to book the use of a computer or microform viewer before visiting.

Do I need a reader's ticket?

No, we do not operate a reader's ticket system and we are not part of the CARN system. We do ask you to sign in each time you visit.

What do I need to bring?

Bring a pencil with you if you are going to need to take notes - we don't allow pens.  This is to prevent accidental damage to documents.

Can I use a laptop?

Yes, we are happy to allow the use of laptops, and have power points available in the main searchrooms.

Do you have wi-fi?

Yes we provide free wi-fi.

Do you have a cafe?

The Record Office does not have a cafe, but as we are situated in the centre of Bath, there are many places to find food and drink within two or three minutes' walk.

Do you have facilities for visitors to eat their own food?

Unfortunately, the Record Office has very limited space, and we regret that we are unable to provide facilities for visitors to eat their own food.

Do you have toilet facilities?

Toilets are available on the ground floor of the Guildhall.

Do I need to wear gloves when using records?

No, we do not ask you to wear gloves.  Gloves make it more difficult to turn pages, so that there is more chance of damaging them.  They also get dirty, and the dirt can then be transferred between documents.  We believe that in almost all cases clean hands are better than gloves - please make sure that your hands are clean and free of grease.

Can I have photocopies of documents?

Yes, we are happy to provide photocopies of most documents. However, if a document is fragile it may not be possible to copy it, and the copying of some documents is restricted by copyright law. Some bound volumes are also unsuitable for placing into a photocopier - please check with a member of staff before copying.

Can I use my own camera to copy documents?

Yes, but please ask us before taking any photographs.

  • documents with certain copyright restrictions cannot be photographed
  • scrapbooks which form part of the Local Studies collection, including but not limited to the Baker, Broadley, Chapman, Hunt and Sydenham scrapbooks can be photographed or copied for personal use only
  • the Irvine collection cannot be photographed or copied unless for personal use only
  • documents in private ownership, if the owner has prohibited copying, cannot be photographed or copied
  • documents which are too fragile to produce cannot be photographed or copied

There is no charge for using your own camera.

Please contact us to enquire about using images for publication and commercial purposes.