Record repositories aren’t like libraries…you can’t browse shelves to find the archives you want to look at. Archives are unique, and if they are lost or damaged they cannot be replaced. So they are kept securely in strongrooms with the right environmental conditions.  You can look for archives that may be helpful for your research either in the archives repository itself or online by using a catalogue.

Searching the catalogue
It’s helpful to remember when using catalogues that archives, unlike library books, are not arranged by subject.  They are arranged by ‘creator’ – all the records created by an individual or an organisation are kept together, as the archive of that individual or organisation.  One archive may contain material relating to a range of subjects, and on the other hand you may find material relating to a particular subject is spread across a number of different archives.

Staff are always there to help you – if you can’t find what you want, or don’t know how to use the catalogues, just ask!


Next: Visiting a Repository