Visiting the Archives


From 29 JULY 2019, Canal Street will be closed to inbound traffic from the London Road (A60) island towards the Archives building.  The alternative route is via London Road (A60), Queen’s Road, Sheriff’s Way, Waterway Street West, onto Wilford Road/Street and then right onto Castle Meadow Road. Park and Ride facilities are available with trams and buses stopping at the Nottingham Station, a five minute walk from the office along the canal towpath.

Searching the Archives

Saturday 28 September 2019 – Due to an all-day event there will be no Searchroom service or access to archival documents on this day.  We open at 11am for ‘ArchivesFest’, an all day celebration to mark our 70th anniversary.  Why not join us for an exciting day of talks and demonstrations?  More information and online booking can be found at  Alternatively please book in person at Nottinghamshire Archives or by telephone on 0115 958 1634.  

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 to apply for an Inspire Library Card.  This can be done in person when you visit 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