Plan your visit and contact the record office

Make an appointment to visit; see opening times and contact details; find out how to use the searchroom and access our records and archives.

Contacting the record office

Please get in touch to make an appointment before visiting.

Bookings can be made by telephone, email, post or in person.

There is limited free parking available on site, with disc parking in nearby streets and a pay-and-display car park within five to ten minutes' walk. The building is on one floor and is fully accessible. A parking space is available for disabled visitors and those with limited mobility.


Our facilities include:

  • a large public searchroom
  • microfilm readers and reader-printers
  • digital scanners for original documents and microfilm
  • free access to Ancestry and Find My Past
  • wi-fi internet access and PC for visitors' use
  • selection of local history books and periodicals
  • tea room for visitors' use
  • exhibition area

You can find our full list of services and learn about our collections here.

Information for first-time visitors

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 laptops, tablets and other electronic devices 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
  • do not take any documents, transcripts, microfilms, microfiche, guides or catalogues out of the searchroom

In addition please note:

  • mobile phones should be switched to silent 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.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Using the searchroom, microfilm and original documents

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.

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.

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.

Internet access

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.

Education and group visits to the record office

We welcome group and educational visits by prior arrangement.

We can offer:

  • talks on subjects including the work of the record office, resources for local and family history, and conservation
  • behind the scenes tours including the conservation studio and our reprographics department
  • group bookings to consult our collections in the searchroom
  • space to hold meetings or to undertake project work

Please contact us for further details.

We can accommodate groups of between five and 30 people for talks and tours, which last around 45 minutes to one hour.

For group bookings in the searchroom, we can offer a maximum of thirteen places to consult records on microfilm alongside an additional six places for the consultation of original documents or transcripts.

A small charge of £3 per head is made for group tours and talks.

There is no charge for school visits.

Self-service copying and photography

Self-service reader / printer machines are available for making A3 and A4 paper copies of records on microfilm.

Self-service microfilm scanners are available for making digital scans from microfilm to USB memory stick.

Find the charges for these services here. 

North Riding Registry of Deeds

Self-service copying of the North Riding Registry of Deeds volumes from 1885 onwards is not allowed.

Photography permits

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. Weekly or daily permits can be purchased with no restriction on the number of images that may be taken. A camera stand and an SLR digital camera are available for hire.

For further information, please see our current list of charges for copying documents.

Online records and shop

You can search our catalogue of the records we hold online.

Visit the record office catalogue

Buy copies of historic maps and photographs, order research and much more.

Visit the record office online shop

Opening hours

Day Opening hours
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9:30am to 4:30pm
Wednesday 9:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday 9:30am to 4:30pm
Friday 9:30am to 4pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Volunteer at the record office