Enquiries and visiting
If you have a research question, please check out our Research help section or make a personal visit where staff will be able to advise you.
Visiting in person
Search Engine is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 10am-5.30pm. You don't need an appointment to use the library collection but you will need to book at least a week ahead if you wish to look at archival material. Please read the section below about archive access.
To make a booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend you contact us at least one week before your visit.
Accessing archives and original materials while you're here
To make a booking or to enquire about access to archival material, please email email@example.com. We suggest a notice period of at least a week before your visit. Emails will be responded to as soon as possible on the days Search Engine is open.
Access to archival material is via our invigilated research rooms in Search Engine. On your first visit you'll need to bring one form of identification with you (e.g. passport, driving license) so we can register you as an archive user. You can book up to 6 archive items (boxes, drawings/drawing rolls, documents) and another 3 items throughout the course of the day at our timed retrievals into the stores.
House rules for the research rooms:
- Pencils only
- You can bring notepads, loose leaf paper and laptops to make notes on
- No food or drink
- No flash photography. Photo permission form required for other photography: ask staff
- No coats or bags (lockers are available: £1 coin deposit)
- You can use mobile phones for texting or taking photos, but only in silent mode
- The use of scanners is not permitted without prior arrangement with a curator
If you want to photocopy documents while you're here, check with staff: you might be able to use the self-service photocopier, but with some documents we'll need to do it for you, or you'll need to fill in a copying service form. For large photocopying requests (20+ pages), you'll need to pay a £5 admin charge (excluding post and packaging).
You can order photocopies from home: see copying service
free WiFi is available throughout Search Engine and there are several computers connected to the internet that are free of charge.
Inreach: researchers working on your behalf
If you cannot make a personal visit you may wish to enlist the services of Inreach. Our 'Inreach' team of volunteers can do research in our library and archives on your behalf. They charge £25 for half a day's research which goes towards funding improved access to our archive collections. The Inreach team can also copy documents for you, subject to the normal copying service terms and conditions.
If you would like to make use of the service please complete the Inreach Quote form (PDF | Word) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible, and allow up to four weeks for an initial response (we'll aim to get back to you sooner).