Reopening information

Welcome back to Bath Record Office!

Due to the current situation, we have made changes to the way we operate including mandatory face coverings, rigorous cleaning of public spaces and quarantine systems for documents.

We are now issuing all visitors with membership cards. These are free although replacement cards will incur a small fee. When you book your visit we will request your details so that you can be added to our membership database. Please see this page for further details about our new membership card system.

You will notice other changes too, including hand-sanitiser stations, screens, signage and floor guides, which are intended to ensure a safe environment for visitors and staff.

The guidance below will help you prepare for your visit, as well as our FAQs page.

Essential Information

  • Please wear a face covering - for your safety and the safety of other visitors and of staff, you are required to wear a face covering when visiting the Guildhall and during your visit to the Record Office.
  • An appointment must be made at least 48 hours before visiting.
  • Documents and books should be pre-ordered where possible.
  • Contact information must be provided at the point of booking.
  • Please bring identification with you on your first visit once we have reopened.

Please do not book if you live in a local lockdown area, if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19), if you are awaiting a test result, or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Opening times

  • Our opening days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • There are two bookable sessions each day. These are from 10 am - 1 pm or 2 pm - 5 pm.

Booking an appointment

Appointments are essential as numbers will be restricted.

  • Appointments can be booked by phone or email. Please see our contact us page.
  • Appointments will normally be limited to one morning or one afternoon session per week in the first instance. Please respect this to enable as many people as possible to have the chance to book a session.
  • If your research need is not urgent, please consider whether you need to book immediately on reopening or if your enquiry can be answered by our team remotely.

You will need to provide the following information when making a booking:

  • Your full name, address, email address and phone number.
  • Document references for pre-ordering or a detailed description of your research subject.
  • If you require either a microfilm reader or public access computer then you can make a specific booking for these resources.

Ordering documents

  • Documents and books must be pre-ordered where possible.
  • Please use our online catalogues to find the references for the items you wish to use.
  • Documents can be pre-ordered at the time of booking and must be ordered at least 48 hours before your visit.
  • You can pre-order up to 10 documents per visit. If you have particular requirements relating to your document requests, please phone or email us to discuss these.

What to do when you arrive

  • Arrive at the rear entrance to the Guildhall and use the intercom to speak to the reception desk.
  • You will be asked to give your name.
  • A member of the Record Office team will meet you on the ground floor.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands using the stations provided.
  • You will be directed down to the Record Office where another member of staff will guide you into the searchrooms.
  • Place bags, etc., in allocated lockers.

In the searchroom

  • You will be allocated a table or microfilm/fiche reader as booked and asked to read our Covid-19 Visitor Charter.
  • Your ordered documents will be available for you to work through.
  • All documents, library books, and other resources will need to be returned to appropriate trolleys or left on tables for them to be quarantined.
  • Please be aware of other researchers and staff and always maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be available for you to use during your visit.