Coronavirus: Archives

The Archives remains open. Any closures or additional restrictions are subject to consultation. Read the latest update about coronavirus restrictions in Lancashire.

We are pleased to welcome you back in person to Lancashire Archives.

Your experience will be slightly different if you have visited us previously, in order to comply with guidance on social distancing and to ensure the safety of all our visitors and staff.

From Tuesday 6 October, our opening hours for pre-booked visitors only will be:

Tuesday to Friday 9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm.

The building will close between 12.30pm and 1.30pm each day so that the public areas can be cleaned. There will be no public access to the building during this time.

We will not open on Saturday or until 7pm on Tuesday, however we will review this on a regular basis.

If you know what you want to look at and when you want to come book your visit.
If you want to ask us a question, including whether we have anything of interest to you in our collections, please use our enquiry form.

Arrangements for visiting Lancashire Archives

  • All visits are by advance appointment only.
  • All material must be ordered in advance, including microfilm and microfiche.
  • All material, including catalogues, will be quarantined after use and will not be available to another person for at least 72 hours.
  • All payments are cashless and we are sorry but we will be unable to provide change for pay and display parking.
  • All enquiries will be answered from behind a screen. We will be unable to assist with computers and microform readers.
  • The tea room is not available but you can use a water dispenser located in the searchroom.
  • Only one person at a time may access the toilets.

We expect that you will

  • not visit if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • follow the latest government guidance on the coronavirus.
  • respect all our signage and directions for the safety of yourself and others.
  • observe 2 metre distancing at all times.
  • wear a face covering at all times in the record office building - unless exempt.
  • practise good hygiene including sanitising or washing hands thoroughly when you enter the building and before you leave.

If you prefer not to visit us, our archive enquiry and copying service is operating as usual. Or you may wish to employ a local record agent to carry out research on your behalf. Find a local record agent.

Please read the guidance below to prepare for your visit. Do bear in mind that these arrangements will be kept under review and that the situation may change at short notice.

Further information

Look at LANCAT or the Lancashire Library catalogue to find the references of the items you would like to see. We are happy to advise you about sources for your research; please email archives@lancashire.gov.uk and we will email you or phone you back. 

You can register online for an Archives Card if you do not have one already. We will be able to issue your card when you visit if you submit a photograph and bring along the appropriate identification.

We will be open to the public for two sessions each day, morning and afternoon.  You may book up to 4 sessions in one week, subject to availability. In each half day session there will be 8 spaces for researching original archives; 2 microfilm/microfiche reader spaces; 2 public computer spaces; 1 computer for accessing audio recordings and digital archives. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have to cancel your booking by email or phoning 01772 533039.

As part of the government Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. The NHS Test and Trace service may request those details. We will ask you to provide details before you enter the building .

Contact Lancashire Archives to discuss your research needs and make a booking. You will be asked to complete a booking form, giving your preferred dates and sessions and listing all the document reference numbers, titles of books, or details of other material that you would like to see.

We will send you a booking confirmation which will include:

  • the date and time of your visit
  • how to enter the building
  • your allocated table and locker number
  • confirmation of the archives, books, microform, audio recordings or other requested material which will be available for you
  • how to cancel your booking

Please bring your own pencils and paper to write with as we are unable to supply these. Please note that pens are not allowed in the searchroom. You may bring your own laptop or tablet to use; power sockets and Wi-Fi are available free of charge. You may also bring your own camera or phone to photograph documents, but please note that a fee will be payable for this facility. Please bring your own face covering to wear throughout your visit, unless you have a medical exemption.

Our building has been designated as COVID secure and we are following national guidelines on safety and cleanliness. Hand sanitiser is available. Please follow staff instructions, signage and directions and maintain 2 metre distancing to ensure we all stay safe.