Most of the archives the record repository holds will be listed in detail in catalogues. These usually tell you about the background of the archive – who created it and why – and describe each individual item within it. Every item, or group of items, in the catalogues will have a reference number or code. You will need to make a note of this reference in order to ask for the items you want to see.

You use the archives in a reading room or, as it is often called, a searchroom. When you ask for an item, it will be brought out for you to use in the searchroom. After you have finished with it, it will be put away safely until it is needed again.

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: Online Catalogues