Link to homepage

Information for new visitors to the record office

Important information and notes for new visitors to the county record office.

Important notes for researchers

While you are using the searchroom you, and those around you, may be handling original documents. These records are unique and irreplaceable. Please share with us the responsibility for their safe keeping:

  • Personal belongings, including all bags and handbags, should be left in the lockers provided. You may bring research notes and laptop computers into the searchroom. Laptop cases should be left in a locker;
  • Pencils only may be used when taking notes. Pens may not be brought into the searchroom;
  • Do not bring food or drink into the searchroom;
  • Do not write on documents or mark them in any way;
  • Do not bring sharp implements (such as scissors) into the searchroom;
  • Ensure that your hands are clean and dry before handling documents;
  • Follow the advice of staff at all times when handling documents; and
  • Do not take any documents, transcripts, microfilms, microfiche, guides or catalogues out of the searchroom.

In addition please note:

  • Mobile phones should be switched off in the searchroom;
  • The use of personal scanners is not permitted;
  • The use of personal cameras is not permitted without prior consultation with staff and the purchase of a photography permit. We offer a range copying facilities and services. Please ask for details;
  • Smoking is not permitted on the premises.

Please ask a member of staff if you have any queries.

Using the searchroom

The searchroom is used for the consultation of original documents, microfilms, transcripts, guides and catalogues. Record office staff provide supervision and are available to offer help and advice at all times.

Guides and catalogues

Guides to our holdings can be found on the display stand in the searchroom. More detailed catalogues for individual collections are available on the searchroom shelves. Our online catalogue can be accessed here.


Many records are available for consultation on microfilm. Visitors using microfilms will be issued with a numbered box and, if relevant to their research, a guide to some of our more frequently used records including parish registers. Microfilms are individually numbered and stored in cabinets in the searchroom. The relevant microfilm number can be found by consulting our guides and catalogues. Visitors should take only one film at a time, leaving their box as a marker in its place. The box should then be retrieved when the film is returned to the cabinet. Use of the microfilms is on a self-service basis, but staff are available to help. Self-service machines are available for printing copies of records on microfilm. Please ask staff for information on current charges.

Original documents

In most cases we are able to produce original documents for consultation. Exceptions apply to some frequently used material, including parish registers, and documents in poor physical condition. In some instances advance notice may be required. Please order original documents by completing a request slip and returning it to a member of staff. Reference numbers for original documents can be found in our catalogues. Documents will normally be retrieved within twenty minutes of a request, although document production may be less frequent at busy times. Each document or group of documents will be produced to view singly and in turn. Please hand in your CARN ticket when issued with a document. When you have finished with your documents please return them to a member of staff and retrieve your CARN ticket. Please treat original documents with care and follow the advice of staff regarding handling. A self-service digital scanner is available for making copies of original records (excluding the North Riding Registry of Deeds) in our searchroom. Please ask staff for information on current charges. Some records may not be suitable for scanning.


Some records are available as transcripts, abstracts or facsimiles. Our published guides will direct you to this material, most of which is available on the searchroom shelves.

Internet access

We have one computer with internet access available for public use. Visitors are also welcome to use their own laptop computers and the searchroom has a wi-fi connection.

Thank you for your co-operation.

This page was last updated on 20 April 2016