Visiting Bath Record Office

In order to keep visitors and staff safe, we expect you to wear a face covering during your visit. Numbers in the searchrooms are still limited and we are cleaning all workstations and tables after use.

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.

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, we strongly prefer the wearing of face coverings. Our space is limited and poorly ventilated and so we are acting on the recommendations of our Public Health team and other Bath & North East Somerset Heritage Services venues.
  • Appointments must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
  • 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 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 to Friday.
  • There are two bookable sessions each day. These are from 10 am - 1 pm or 2 pm - 5 pm (4.30pm on Friday).

Booking an appointment

Appointments are essential as space is limited.

  • 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 consult.
  • 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 12 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 front entrance to the Guildhall
  • If you have accessbility needs you may use the market entrance. There is a lift to the basement.
  • State the purpose of your visit at the door and at the reception desk.
  • Make your way through the ground floor to the south staircase, following the one way system.
  • Use the steps down to the basement where a member of staff will greet you.
  • Place bags, etc., in allocated lockers.

In the searchroom

  • You will be allocated a table or microfilm/fiche reader as booked.
  • Your ordered documents will be available for you to work through.
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be available for you to use during your visit.