How to use our Archive Service

How to use our Archive Service

Think about what information you want to find and what you need to know. It is helpful to know in advance what resources you might want to consult, plan your visit here.

Use our online catalogue containing descriptions of resources held in our collections.

When you first arrive

The Archives Service is based in the back right hand corner of the Central Library on Broadway in Peterborough. We’re about a ten minute walk away from the railway station and bus station. There is no on-site car parking but a large multi-storey across the road – follow signs for the market. We have coat hooks for outdoor coats and lockers for bags which we may ask you to use.

Reader registration

You do not need to register to use items from the local studies reference collection, microfilms of newspapers and parish registers on microfiche. All other items require you to have registered with the service. Registration involves filling out a simple form and showing us a proof of address. This can be something like a driving licence, bank statement or utility bill.

Finding archives

There are paper catalogues of our most popular collections available to consult in the reading room.

Descriptions of all our catalogued collections can be accessed onsite through our online catalogue. Staff will assist you in searching the catalogue.

Ordering documents

Once you know the items you wish to consult you need to fill out a document ordering slip. Completed slips should then be handed to a staff member who will retrieve your document. Document retrieval normally takes around ten minutes and is done on demand. Once you have finished with an item, return it to the staff member at the enquiry desk.

Document handling

You will normally only be allowed to consult one document at a time.

Instructions for how to handle the particular type of document that you have ordered will be handed to you along with your document. Please consult these carefully.

Access restrictions

Access to some documents is restricted in line with the wishes of depositors, the Data Protection Act, or due to the condition of the documents. Normally these are indicated on our online catalogue. However, staff may advise you of other restrictions when you are with us.

If you wish to consult an item that has an access restriction then please speak to a member of staff and we will endeavour to accommodate your request as best we can or advise you where else you can apply for the information you require.

Archives policies

You can find copies of all relevant policies relating to the service in the Downloads section below.

We do not usually allow access to uncatalogued collections. If you wish to access material within an uncatalogued collection then you should speak with staff and submit a request in writing. We will then try to make the material suitable for use in the reading room or extract the information you require on your behalf.