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 and scanning copies of records on microfilm. Please ask staff for information on current charges.
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.
We recommend that you order original documents in advance where possible but we will accept additional document requests during your visit. 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. We regret that it is not usually possible to retrieve records between 12pm and 2pm.
Each document or group of documents will be produced to view singly and in turn. Please treat original documents with care and follow the advice of staff regarding handling.
You are welcome to bring your own camera to take photographs of the original documents in our care (excluding the North Riding Registry of Deeds and original parish registers) upon purchasing a photography permit. Please ask staff for information on current charges.
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.
We have one computer with internet access available for public use. Visitors are also welcome to use their own laptop computers and devices. The searchroom has a Wi-Fi connection.