Please read fully to ensure you understand how the service will operate during the period of restricted service
We are looking forward to welcoming our visitors back to the Centre, however, we have made a number of changes to our search room service in order to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff:
- Visits to the History Centre will be by appointment only, including use of the search room.
- From 5 August 2020 the History Centre search room will be open on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 12pm, and then again between 2pm and 4pm.
- For your safety and the safety of other visitors and staff, and in line with Government guidance, from 8 August it will be mandatory for anyone entering our building to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit. This includes collecting books through the select and collect service or whilst using our search room. Please come prepared with your face covering as you will not be able to use the Centre’s services without one.
- There will be 4 seats available to book in the search room at each of the two sessions per day. Please come on your own as there will be no group bookings, including couples, to ensure social distancing. If you need assistance to make your visit and will be bringing an assistant with you, please let us know at the point of booking so we can arrange our seating accordingly. You will be allocated a table and a locker for your belongings at the point of booking.
- At the current time we are unable to make collections during your visit and because of this we are increasing the number of items you can request in advance to 10. These must be requested one week ahead of your visit.
- We are accepting one booking per week at the present time to allow more researchers the opportunity to use our services. This could take the form of staying for two sessions in one day if we have room, but the number of items you can order for your total visit will remain at 10. Please book one week ahead of your visit. We regret that at the current time we are unable to make bookings further than one week ahead.
- All reference books and archive items must be ordered one week ahead of your visit either by e-mailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning us at the History Centre on 01482 317500. Please use our online catalogue to identify the items you would like to see.
- All shelves will be cordoned off and not available to browse during your visit. However, if you know you would like to use the Council Minutes, a Street Directory, a Telephone Directory, an Electoral Register between 1950 to 2019, or to browse the image folders, please include these in your list of items to view and we will get them out for you. These will be counted as part of your 10 items.
- We will notify you either by text, email or phone, depending on the data we have, as to whether the items are available to view. This is necessary as items that have been previously viewed will need to be quarantined before we can re-issue them. If the items are available we will contact you to arrange a convenient time for you to visit. When we contact you we will be asking for certain information to enable us to complete the visitors’ book on your behalf, to identify you when you arrive and to assist the NHS test and trace service (further details below). This will include your name, address including your postcode, contact details and the reason for your visit, for example, family history or academic research. We will still contact you if the item is not available to arrange another time for you to visit.
- We are unable to offer scrap paper, pencils etc. so please ensure you bring your own supplies. Please advise if you require power for a laptop as tables with power are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
- The items you request will be on your allocated table ready for you to use when you arrive, along with a document/book support if necessary.
- There will be no need to bring the items you have finished looking at back to staff. Just push them to one side of the table for staff to collect at the end of a session after all visitors have left the room. This will reduce contact between you and the staff and ensure social distancing.
- We will be unable to keep items out for you to view at a later date once you have finished with them, as all items will be quarantined after use to ensure there is no trace of the virus on them which could be passed to another user or member of staff. Please re-order and book another session should you wish to return to view them again.
- Please bring a camera with you as staff will be unable to photocopy items for you. The usual charge of 30p per shot applies, or alternatively we are able to offer a Multiple Copies Pass during the restricted service period which will allow you to take as many shots as you wish during your session for £10. If you are staying for the afternoon session and wish to continue to take images, we can still offer our £15 Day Pass. Payment should be made by using contactless wherever possible.
There have been many issues to consider when reorganising our services, and we ask you to bear with us as we learn to operate under these new conditions. Thank you.
Please note that following government guidance we will be keeping a temporary record of your visit for 21 days, after which it will be destroyed. Should it become necessary, we may share your details with the NHS test and trace service, but we will only pass your details to the NHS if a visitor to the Centre on the same day as you tests positive for COVID-19. By following this government guidance, we are helping to reduce the risk of a local outbreak and protect our staff, visitors and the wider community.