Visiting the Archives

Nottinghamshire Archives is now closed until further notice along with all other Inspire venues and libraries. More information here.

Searching the Archives

Before paying the archives a visit, you can search Nottinghamshire Archives and Discovery online catalogues to check we have what you are looking for. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and not all records are currently available online.  Contact our friendly team for further advice.


Tel: 0115 9581634

Search the archives' catalogue

Search Discovery (The National Archives) catalogue 

On Arrival at Nottinghamshire Archives

Our friendly staff will be happy to help with anything you might need when you arrive. You do not need to book in advance.

Accessing Original Archives

To look at original archives you will need an Inspire Library Card.  Please apply in person when you arrive at Nottinghamshire Archives.

You will need ID that shows a printed name, address and signature (does not need to be on the same document) to register to view original documents and to use the resources on the public pcs including free access to Ancestry.

To activate an existing Inspire Library Card for Archives use, please bring ID showing printed name, address and signature into Nottinghamshire Archives the first time you wish to use your library card to view original documents.  You will need to show your ID every three years to access the original documents held within our collections.

We have catalogues available to identify documents and also indexes of persons, places and subjects to guide you to the appropriate catalogue.

Once you have found a description of your document in the catalogue, you can request to see it by writing its reference number on a Document Request Slip. This slip is then handed over to a member of staff who will allocate you an order number. When your document is available to view, a sign will be displayed with your order number on it.

Documents can be requested up to one hour before we close.  A maximum of 30 requests can be placed per day.

Advance Orders

You can order up to four items ahead of your visit.  Please email us with the references of the items you require and your library card number, if you have one, so we can have your items waiting for you.

Please note, if you do not have an Inspire Library Card, you will need to register for one before your items are issued to you.  Please bring ID showing a printed name, address and signature (does not need to be on the same document).

Access Restrictions

Most records are available for general access. However, a small number are restricted, in whole or in part, because the information contained within them is deemed sensitive under the Data Protection Act or other legislation. Restrictions are usually indicated in our catalogue and will be reviewed on request.

To request a review, you will need to apply to archives in writing. We will respond to your query within 40 days, although you will often receive a response much sooner than this.

There is no charge for this review, but searches in restricted access records are subject to a charge. For more information on Restricted Access records please download our information sheet Restricted Access Records

Reading and Printing Microfiche

You do not need to book a microfiche reader.

Microfiche are stored in drawers. At each reader is a set of markers which can be used to mark where you have taken a particular microfiche. This will help you when putting the microfiche back and also show other visitors which microfiche are in use. There are accompanying lists and indexes to help you find a particular microfiche.

A  printer is available to make copies of microfiche.

Our duty team are on hand to advise you on accessing microfiche and using the microfiche readers and printer.

Using Our Computers

We have a number of computers at the archives which are free for visitors to use. From our computers you can access a range of resources, including free access to Ancestry and the Nottinghamshire Archives online catalogue.   

For more information on booking a computer, drop-in computers and print out costs click here


We have a visitors' room available off the main search room, equipped with a hot drinks machine and a water cooler for you to use. You are welcome to bring a packed lunch to eat on the premises.


We have the following facilities available:

  • Fully accessible search room
  • A bookable and drop-in PC on height adjustable tables
  • Magnifying glasses are available to borrow from reception
  • Scanner to enable those with visual impairment to view original documents [changes contrast and colours of text/background]
  • Meeting rooms fitted with an induction hearing loop
  • An accessible toilet
  • Two accessible spaces in our car park which can be reserved by blue badge holders with at least 24 hours' notice.

Assistance dogs are permitted in all areas of the search room.

Our staff are able to read and interpret documents through our paid Research Service

Nottinghamshire Archives

County House

Castle Meadow Road