Reading room regulations

  1. The collections are available for reference purposes only.
  2. The Reading Room is normally open to researchers from Wednesday to Friday between 10 am and 5 pm.
  3. Appointments to use the Department's facilities should be made in advance. To avoid a wasted journey, readers should describe their requirements in detail when making appointments, in case the Museum is unable to help.
  4. Briefcases and other bags must be left in the lockers provided. Readers who need to bring in their own books, documents, photographs etc. must declare them to a member of the department's staff on arrival, to avoid confusion.
  5. Readers will be issued with a special badge, which must be worn at all times and returned to Reception on departure.
  6. Although readers need not be escorted to and from the Reading Room, they should notify a member of staff before leaving the room for any purpose.
  7. Readers may use the indexes and microfilms provided in the Reading Room; the member of staff on duty will undertake searches of the electronic catalogue.
  8. Entry to the storage areas and office is limited to Museum staff only.
  9. Requests for documents should be made, on the relevant form, before 12.00 or after 14.00. Last orders are accepted at 16.30.
  10. Readers may consult no more than three items or one file of papers at a time. Items that are closed to the public will not be produced for researchers without the permission of the appropriate authority.
  11. Documents which are in a fragile condition or which have not yet been catalogued will only be produced for readers with the agreement of the Curator of Documents.
  12. Documents must not be taken out of the Reading Room without permission: the Museum reserves the right to search visitors' papers before they leave.
  13. Readers must sign a copyright declaration before items in copyright can be copied.
  14. Photocopying of material is available at the staff's discretion and is subject to a charge. "While you wait" copying depends on staff availability, and a limit on the number of items to be copied may be necessary.
  15. Staff will not make copies which breach Copyright regulations, or where copying is likely to damage the original document. Permission must be sought from the copyright holder before any item is reproduced for commercial purposes.
  16. Readers may use cameras to copy material that is either Crown Copyright or designated as Public Records – this excludes the majority of the photographic collection. A daily fee is payable.
  17. Please consult a member of staff before using a camera. The use of tripods and/or flash is not permitted, and any audio signal emitted by the camera must be turned off. The use of scanners is not permitted.
  18. Smoking, eating and drinking within the Reading Room are strictly prohibited. Mobile telephones should not be used in the Reading Room.
  19. Notes should only be made in pencil, but researchers may use typewriters, portable computers or tape recorders to make notes, provided their use does not interfere with other researchers. If documents or Departmental equipment are defaced or damaged the Museum will seek compensation from those responsible.
  20. Researchers who fail to observe the above conditions may be asked to leave the Reading Room and may be denied access in the future.