Reading room rules

Reading room rules

Please do:

  • enter your details in our visitors' log each day you visit
  • leave your bag and/or coat in the lockers/coat stand provided or with the reading room staff
  • use a pencil, a laptop or a tablet to make notes when consulting material
  • open only one file or bundle at a time to avoid mixing paper between files; ensure that you return files with the pages in the original order in which you received them
  • protect the items by using the book supports and weights when asked to by the reading room staff
  • avoid putting strain on the spine of an open volume - don't try to force it to lie flat, don't leave it lying open face downwards, don't mark your place with anything other than a strip of paper
  • show your permission to reading room staff if you wish to photograph material*
  • show consideration for other users by keeping conversation and other noise to a minimum

Please do not:

  • have any food or liquid with you whilst in the reading room
  • use pens or ink when consulting archives and collections
  • lean on, or place anything on top of, documents, plans or books, whether open or closed
  • allow an item to hang over the edge of a table
  • mark, fold or crease material in any way
  • lick or moisten fingers when handling an item
  • touch the text of documents or other items
  • try to force documents or books to open - if you are having difficulties the reading room staff will be pleased to help
  • use a mobile phone to make or receive calls
  • use a tape recorder (except by special arrangement)
  • use a scanner on the documents (all copying of material, except by hand-held photography, must be done by staff)*
  • use flash photography*
  • have more than three archival files or other items at your desk at a time (except with the permission of the reading room staff)
  • take archive boxes to your desk (except with the permission of the reading room staff)

Thank you for your co-operation.

* The use of digital cameras (no flash photography) is permitted in the reading room by prior arrangement. Users of digital cameras will be asked to sign a declaration confirming that the images taken are for personal research purposes only.