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Using the searchroom

Planning your visit

Archives Card

You will need to register for an Archives Card before your visit. Go to https://archivescard.com/ to enter your details and upload a photograph. To complete your registration, bring two of the forms of ID listed when you visit.

Seat bookings

We advise anyone visiting to view documents to book a table in advance. You will need to make a booking if you would like to consult maps or sound. We do not take bookings for microfilm and fiche readers.

You can book for the whole day or for a half-day session:

  • Morning 10am-2pm. Please arrive by 10.30am
  • Afternoon 2pm-5pm. Please arrive by 2.30pm

You can order up to two documents in advance when you book. Please ensure that we receive requests at least 24 hours before you plan to visit.

To book and order documents, please email norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk stating:

  • The date you wish to visit
  • If you would like a morning or afternoon session, or both
  • The references for up to two documents which you would like to see (you can order others on the day)

We will send you an email to confirm your booking.

Locating documents for your research

Search our online catalogue to identify which documents you wish to see and make a note of their reference numbers.

The catalogue includes set searches for popular searches (such as maps, parish registers and wills). See our help pages for guidance on using the catalogue. You can find further advice in the ‘Using NROCAT’ videos on the NRO’s YouTube channel – how to. Our research guides suggest documents useful for many topics, such as tracing your family history or the history of your house. Our Guide to holdings gives an overview of the collections we hold.

Whilst most documents are available to consult, there are restrictions on using documents marked in the catalogue as:

  • ‘Unfit for production’ or ‘fragile’
  • On microfilm - please consult the microfilm copy instead (except for maps, where we produce the originals unless they are unfit for production)
  • On restricted access because they contain sensitive information - you will need written permission from the document’s owner to see them

Please contact us if you need further advice.