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Planning a visit

Planning your visit

To work out what records you need and where they are held you should check the online catalogues, guides to sources and family history resources. If the information is not available online then please contact us.

The next step is to book a visit in advance, please contact us in order to do this. Sometimes records are stored offsite and require some notice before they can be made available.

Reader registration

Please note: County Archive Research Network (CARN) tickets are not valid at our service points, although they may be used as proof of identity and address.

On your first visit you must complete a registration card, so that a reader's ticket can be issued. You also need to produce proof of identity and permanent address. There is no need to obtain a reader's ticket in advance of your visit.

As part of registration readers must accept a Code of Conduct:

Original documents cannot be consulted until registration has been completed.

Where can I use the reader's ticket?

Readers tickets are valid at all of our service points, and the William Salt Library, Stafford, for two years. They may be renewed at any of our service points on production of proof of identity and address.

Making an appointment

Appointments are required in order to guarantee a seat. When booking please let us know the following details:

  • What you wish to look at - some family history sources are on microfiche, microfilm or CD. Some original records require 48 hours advance notice to access, photographs require 24 hours notice due to being held under special conditions.
  • How many people are coming - our reading rooms are normally unable to accommodate several people at one microfiche machine or table space.

To book an appointment please contact the relevant service point.

Opening hours

Finding records

The Archive Service has four service points, and works closely with William Salt Library. The links below give an overview of what is held at each office.

Family history sources

Local and general history sources

Transport options

Whichever of our offices you are planning to visit you may find Traveline helpful in checking out the various options available. 

Finding accommodation

Travelling to Stafford, Stoke on Trent or Lichfield to do your research? Why not take a short break and discover what Staffordshire has to offer?

These websites provide information about a variety of local accommodation from town centre hotels to rural self-catering, as well as suggesting a wealth of activities for all the family such as music festivals, hair-raising theme-park rides and gentle walks in the midst of nature.

Stafford Tourism Bureau

Stoke on Trent Tourist Information Centre

Lichfield District Tourism Association

Leek Chamber of Commerce

Cannock Chase

For overseas visitors the following websites will give tourist information about Staffordshire as a whole, the West Midlands region and Britain nationally.

Enjoy Staffordshire

West Midlands region (the Heart of England)

Visit Britain

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