Using the searchroom

You can view our records in the searchroom.

You can search for documents using our catalogues and indexes. We have a list of the documents available on microfilm or fiche. You don't need to book microfilm and fiche readers.

We have several PCs which you can use to search our online catalogue. We also offer free access to family history websites such as Find My Past, Ancestry and the Genealogist.

Our staff are always happy to help.

When you arrive

There's a reception desk near the entrance where you can obtain reader's tickets, buy photography permits and order Norfolk birth, marriage and death certificates.

The searchroom is at the end of the Long Gallery.

We don't allow coats, bags, food, drinks or pens in the searchroom. This is to protect and preserve the documents in our care. There are lockers and coat rails for your use.

You're welcome to bring in your laptop, pencils and papers.

Viewing original documents

If you'd like to look at original documents or maps, you will need a reader’s ticket, also known as a CARN ticket. (CARN stands for County Archive Research Network, which we're a member of.)

If you don't have a reader's ticket, you can get one from reception. You'll need formal proof of your identity. This must include your name, address and signature, such as a driving licence.

Original documents are kept in storage so you'll need to request any you want to see.

Document requests are collected every 30 minutes throughout the day and you can order up to four documents per collection.

You can also order up to four documents in advance, at least one working day before your visit.

Booking a map table

If you want to look at maps or other very large documents, we advise you to book a map table.

Booking times are:

Monday, Wednesday to Friday:

  • 9am to 1pm (seats held until 10am)
  • 1pm to 5pm (seats held until 1.30pm)

Tuesday:

  • 9.30am to 1pm (seats held until 10am)
  • 1pm to 5pm (seats held until 1.30pm)

Copying

You can make your own printout copies from most microfilms and fiches in the searchroom. You can also take photographs of most documents but you'll need to buy a permit from reception.

You can also order printouts or photocopies. We can supply copies of most documents, subject to copyright and other restrictions. We also take into account the format and condition of documents.

Check our list of fees and charges.

Visitors with disabilities

There are parking spaces for visitors with disabilities near the entrance to The Archive Centre.

There's a wheelchair-accessible lift which takes you down to the public areas, which are all on one level. There is an accessible toilet.

There are loop systems for the hard of hearing at The Archive Centre reception desks.

Refreshments

There are vending machines in the Long Gallery. You're welcome to bring your own food and drink. We have tables and chairs in the gallery for you to use.

There's a small shop and a canteen at County Hall. Ask a member of our staff if you'd like to use them.