Hull History Centre exterior from Worship Street

Restricted Service - Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

When will the History Centre be open?

From Thursday 1 October 2020 the History Centre will be open 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but not all services will be available on each of these days.

You will be able to book for the following:

  • To pick up reserved library books by appointment, or to return a library book: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday
  • To use the search room to view pre booked items and reference material by appointment only: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 10am or 2pm.
    • Wednesday and Friday: City Archives, Local Studies and University Archives material
    • Thursday: City Archives and Local Studies material

There will be no Saturday opening during the restricted service period.

Please do not visit the History Centre without making an appointment.

Can I stay and use the other facilities once my session has finished?

There will be no other facilities open to use at the History Centre and we would respectfully ask that you leave the Centre promptly once your session has finished, using the Freetown Way exit. There will be signs to direct you and staff on hand to point the way.

Can I visit the History Centre without an appointment?

No, all visits to the History Centre are strictly by appointment only unless you are returning a library book. In this case please see How do I return a library book below.

Will I have to wear a face covering?

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.

Will the History Centre be assisting the NHS Test & Trace service?

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.

If you have downloaded the Test and Trace app on your phone please check-in by scanning the QR code for the History Centre on the official NHS QR posted located at the main entrance.

Public computer questions

Please note that at the current time we are unable to offer a service for the public PCs. We will update our website when this service becomes available.

Library questions

For further information on how to order and return books see our Select & Collect page.

How do I order a library book?

Books can be ordered in the following ways:

  • By using Hull library’s online catalogue and placing a reservation
  • By e-mailing the history centre’s enquiry service on
  • By phoning us on 01482 317500

How do I return a library book?

A returns box will be available in the arcade for you to place your books in. Please place them in the box and exit the Centre via the Freetown Way end of the arcade. There will be signs to direct you and staff on hand to help.

For your convenience, the usual library reservation fees have been suspended until further notice, and as books are put into quarantine for 72 hours after you return them to us and remain on your account until they are withdrawn from quarantine, we have now extended the lending period to 35 days.

Can I place an order for a book when I return a book?

No, we are unable to accept orders for books when returning items. If you wish to co-ordinate the collecting and return of books this should be organised ahead of your visit following the procedures for ordering a book below.

Will the library be open so I can browse the shelves?

To ensure the safety of visitors and staff the library area will NOT be open for browsing. Books must be ordered either online using the library catalogue, by e-mailing us on or by phoning us on 01482 317500.

Further details of how to borrow and return books can be found on our Select & Collect page.

Archives and reference material questions

Do I need an appointment to use the archives and reference material?

Yes. To ensure the safety of visitors and staff there will be four spaces available at each session (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) and all visits to the search room will be by appointment only. To allow everyone the opportunity to use the service we are only accepting one booking per week per individual.

How far in advance can I make a booking?

You can reserve a seat in the search room up to one week ahead of your intended visit but you can only make one booking per week.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by calling us on 01482 317500 or e-mailing us on

  • City Archives, Local Studies Reference material and University Archives: Wednesday and Friday only
  • City Archives, Local Studies Reference material only: Thursday

Do I need to order items ahead of my visit?

All items need to be ordered ahead of your visit as we are unable to make collections whilst the search room is open to visitors. 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.

To identify what you want to look at please check our online catalogue and note that:

  • City Archives – references beginning C
  • Local Studies material – references beginning L
  • University Archives – references beginning U

Please be aware that submitting a request either by phone or e-mail does not guarantee you a booking. Staff will need to check whether the items you request are available to view or in quarantine. A member of our team will be in touch with you to either confirm you can visit on your requested date or to try and arrange another date/time if not.

Will I be able to order items whilst I am at the History Centre?

Unfortunately, at the current time we are unable to make collections during your visit. Because of this we are increasing the number of items you can request in advance to 10. These must all be requested one week ahead of your visit.

Will I need my Archives Card as proof of ID?

We will not be asking for proof of ID in the form of an Archives Card during the restricted service period. However we will be asking for certain information when we call you to confirm your visit which will allow us to identify you, complete the visitors book on your behalf when you arrive, and to assist the NHS test and trace service. This will include your name, address including your postcode, contact details and the reason for your visit, for example, family history or academic research.

Will I have access to catalogues and books on the shelves in the searchroom?

All shelving will be cordoned off and unavailable 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 browse the images 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.

Do I return the items to staff when I have finished with them?

No, just push the items you have finished with to the other side of the table. Staff will collect all items 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.

For further details of using the searchroom please see our Using Archives and Reference Material page.