Skip to content

Opening hours - plan your visit

We are open to the public and are based in the Register Office Block at County Hall in Hertford. For a map and directions, please follow the link on the left.

                  Register office block

Monday Closed
Tuesday 9.00 - 19.30
Wednesday 9.00 - 17.00
Thursday 9.00 - 17.00
Friday 9.00 - 17.00
Saturday 9.00 - 13.00

Telephone: 0300 123 4049   Email:  Address: Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies, Register Office Block, CHR 002 County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EJ   

Resources in the Local Studies Libary are freely available to browse and you do not need to book. Original documents in the Archives are held in our storage areas and need to be requested.     The last time for requesting a document is one hour before closing time.

Staff are available to help at all times. We can advise you on the sources we have available and how our systems work. Please ask staff if you have any questions.

You will be asked to put bags into a locker and to use a pencil for taking notes. Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Rooms.

Bringing ID / using a CARN ticket

If you are visiting Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies for the first time and wish to consult original documents, please bring with you some identification bearing your name, address and signature, such as a driving licence. You will then be issued with a County Archive Research Network ticket, also known as a CARN ticket. This ticket is then valid for use at many other Record Offices throughout the country.

Ordering in advance and Saturday visits

If you already have references for items you wish to consult, please phone 0300 123 4049 to order them in advance - this will save you time during your visit. You can also pre-order a maximum of three documents using our online ordering form, the link for which is on the left-hand side of this page. Please note that if you want to pre-order documents for Tuesday morning, you must submit your request by 9am on Monday.  If you would like to order original documents in advance for a Saturday, please pre-order by phone (asking for the Archive Reading Room) no later than 2.00pm on the Friday before. Please note that there is no off site production on Saturdays: see below for off-site production times.

Procedures in the Archive Reading Room

Visitors can order three individual items at any one time, using our document request tickets. When you have finished with an item, it should be returned to staff at the production desk before requesting more.  All documents should be handled with care – staff will issue book supports and map weights to help you do so.  Please tell staff if you are concerned about the condition of any item.

Document request times

Tickets will be sent to the main storage areas at:

9.30, 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 12.00, 1.00, 1.30, 2.00, 2.30, 3.30 and 4.00pm (from Tuesday to Friday)

4.30, 5.00, 5.30, 6.00 and 6.30pm (Tuesday evenings)

9.30, 10.00, 11.00, 11.30 and 12.00 (Saturdays)

Documents should be available for use within half an hour of the order time. 

Documents stored off site are collected twice a day. Tickets will be sent to the off-site storage areas at:

11.00am, 2.30pm (Tuesday - Friday).

Documents should be available for use within one hour of the order time. There is no production from the off-site storage areas on a Saturday. If you would like to view original documents from the off-site storage areas on a Saturday, please pre-order by phone (asking for the Archive Reading Room) no later than 2.00pm on the Friday before. If you are not sure where your documents are stored, please have a look at the document titled 'Collections held in offsite storage' on the Ordering documents page (link on the left) or alternatively contact us in advance.

Taking your own photographs

If you wish to use your own equipment to take copies of any items in the reading rooms, you will be required to buy a permit.  This permit will allow you to take an unlimited number of copies in the specified time period.  The cost of a permit is:

  • Full day - £5.00
  • 5 days (does not have to be consecutive)  - £20.00
  • Annual - £60.00

Anyone intending to publish images from our collections must obtain permission in advance. There may be a charge for reproduction rights.

Use of Laptops and the internet

There are power points near to study tables which you are welcome to use for your own laptops and free wi-fi is available.  There is access to the internet via public computers in both reading rooms.


We have a comfortable seating area with hot and cold drinks machines.  Visitors can obtain a pass in the reading rooms to use the County Hall staff restaurant in the main building between 12-2pm.  The town centre is a short walk away where there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs.


There is a free car park directly outside our building. Please be aware that on some days it may be difficult to find a space if large meetings are taking place at County Hall. On these occasions visitors can use the staff car parks to the rear of the site. There is also the Gascoyne Way pay-and- display car park in the town centre, which is a 5-10 minute walk to County Hall.

Visitors with disabilities 

There are disabled parking spaces directly outside and automatic doors into the building. The toilet facilities are also fully accessible. We have a hearing induction loop in both rooms. Magnifying equipment is available and a large monitor and keypad using specially adapted software.