Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

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A neatly organised and very friendly archive facility that will grant you access to all of Hertfordshire's history.

Authority Hertfordshire County Council
Location Register Office Block, County Hall, Hertford, SG13 8EJ. See map
Membership/ID Location-specific membership card; see below
Camera policy Permissive; £10 per day

What is held here

Everything generated by Hertfordshire County Council and considered worth keeping, plus all manner of items donated to the Council by lower-tier authorities and other public bodies within Hertfordshire. That means you will also find here papers and correspondence from parish councils, district councils and the Commission for the New Towns' Hemel Hempstead office.

How to use it

You'll find the archives on the ground floor of the Register Office Block, one of a cluster of handsome mid-century buildings that make up County Hall. Admire the austere late 1930s architecture and well-preserved grounds before going in. If you're arriving by car, there is no car parking on site and places to ditch your wheels nearby are scarce; try the Gascoyne Way multi-storey ten minutes' walk away by the town centre for an easily-found spot with plenty of spaces available. The entrance is well signposted through the County Hall grounds; enter the building and turn left to find the archives.

You'l need to register for a Hertfordshire Archives Research Ticket (or "HART" - see what they did there?). The ticket is free, but you'll need photo ID and a recent utility bill.

Order material by searching the online catalogue or looking through index folders. When you're ready to order, fill in a slip and hand it to the desk staff - they will help if necessary. You can search the catalogue and pre-order three items before you visit, even if you don't already have a readers' ticket, through the website.

You can sit anywhere in the reading room and the atmosphere is noticeably more relaxed and cheerful than in most archives. The archivists may take an interest in your subject or suggest other items for you to see. If you wish to take photographs or spread out, not only are they pleasingly relaxed about you moving about the room and making use of tables or worktops, providing you're treating the documents with care and respect, you may also receive assistance in laying out and weighting plans to keep them flat, or provision of a kick stool so you can gain a bit of extra height for photography.

Use of cameras is permitted, and costs £10 per day. Pay at the front desk and complete the copyright form. You'll be asked to note down the file references of any documents you photograph and hand the form back at the end of your visit. The usual rules (no flash, no noises, etc) apply.

A locker room is available round the corner with tables and chairs for lunch, and a vending machine with snacks, but for food you'll need to go elsewhere. Your best bet is Hertford town centre which is 10-15 minutes' walk away.

Items found here

See the full list for this establishment.