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During your visit

During your visit

Please report to the Institute's reception to sign in on arrival. (Directions to the Institute are available.)

The archive and picture library reading room is located on the first floor of the building, which is accessible either by lift or a short flight of stairs.

Ordering items from the Collection

Catalogues, finding aids and details of recent acquisitions are available from the Archive and Picture Library staff; wherever possible, electronic copies of finding aids will be made available for public consultation.

Various item request forms are provided; full details from the catalogue should be entered for each item requested.

The Item Request Form record a researcher's signature acknowledging agreement to the access policy, document care rules and the conditions for publishing material.

Items must be kept in order and returned to the Archive staff before 4 pm or after use if this is earlier.

Where a microfilm or microfiche or other copy of a document exists, that copy will normally be produced in preference to the original.

Photographic material is usually issued to reader's one box or one photograph album at a time.

Working with Archives

Our archive and photographic collections are irreplaceable thus special care is needed when working with then to ensure their continued preservation.

  • Researchers will be held liable for items issued to them and for their safe return.
  • Many items have extremely sensitive surfaces which can be irreversibly damaged by finger prints, staff will provide transparent film when necessary. Some items will be issued in transparent envelopes and should not be removed from them. Art works, photographs and negatives are particularly vulnerable and their surfaces must not be touched.
  • Gloves will be provided by staff for handling certain items and must be worn on request.
  • Damaged, defective or misplaced items must be reported immediately to the Archive or Picture Library staff.
  • Researchers may only use pencil in the Archive and Picture Library reading room.
  • Tracing from documents is prohibited without prior permission from the Archive staff.
  • Researchers should keep their desk as clear as possible, they may bring notepads / pencils / computer / tablets into the Archive and Picture Library reading room (researchers must ensure any cables are kept away from the collections), recording or copying devices and other equipment are not allowed.
  • Researchers must not lean on the archives, photographs or art work when making notes.
  • Researchers should ensure that their hands are clean and dry, they should not use hand cream or lick fingers before handling the collections. Hands should be washed after breaks for tea / coffee / lunch.
  • Archive and Picture Library staff can supply acid free paper to assist with reading across unlined pages.