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Contact or visit Northamptonshire Archives

Viewing original documents

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are currently unable to access the Bunker, where some of our documents are stored. We do not, unfortunately, have a date for when we can access that space again. This may result in us being unable to retrieve some of the documents you wish to see. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

It is, therefore, very important that you pre-order documents at least three working days before you visit, and have it confirmed by us that you can see the documents, before you travel.

 Opening times

​Day​Time
​Monday​Closed
​Tuesday to Thursday

​9am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm

Please be aware that the public rooms will be closed between 1pm to 2pm each day, and there will be no access to the Search room or Index Room during that hour. The customer tea area and toilets will remain open.

​Friday​Closed
​First Saturday of the month

9am to 1pm

Document production times

We retrieve documents ten times a day Tuesday to Thursday, at the following times: 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am, 12:15, 2:15pm, 2:45, 3:15pm and 3:45pm. We aim to produce the documents within 30 minutes of each of these times. Our normal limit is two documents per person, per collection.

When we are open on the first Saturday of the month between 9am and 1pm, we retrieve documents six times at: 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am and midday. We aim to produce the documents within 30 minutes of each of these times. Our normal limit is two documents per person, per collection.

You can, in addition to requesting documents at these times, pre-order up to eight documents, giving us at least three working days notice.

Parking

We have free parking on site, including disabled spaces. However, we cannot guarantee spaces will be available throughout busy periods.

Refreshments

​Due to spending restrictions, we are no longer able to provide a water dispenser or order hot drinks supplies.

We advise everyone visiting the Record Office to bring their own drinks.

However, within a ten minute drive of the Record Office there are various places where food and drinks can be bought.

We have charity boxes that sell sweets and flapjacks for £1 each. Please note that all food and drinks must be consumed in the designated sitting area only.

Research area of the record office 

How to find us

Record Office
Wootton Hall Park
Mereway
Northampton
NN4 8BQ​

What do I do when I arrive?

We recommend you bring a notebook and pencil, and keep records of the document references of things that you discover on your visit.

If you get stuck and need expert help, book an appointment with our research assistant, who can save you many hours of frustration.

There are a few simple rules before you begin your research:

  • Leave all bags and coats in the lockers provided before you enter the search room.
  • Make sure your laptop is charged before you come – you can plug it in here, but you'll need to hire a circuit breaker.
  • Switch your mobile phone to silent while in the search room.
  • Buy a photography licence before starting to take pictures of documents.
  • To view documents at the Northamptonshire Record Office you will need a CARN card or one of our own Heritage Cards*.

* A CARN card is like a library card for archives.

Important information

From Friday 25 May 2018, we no longer issue County Archive Research Network (CARN) cards, but we will accept existing CARN cards that are still in date. We hope that a suitable national scheme will be reintroduced in the future.

In the meantime, we now have our own free to join scheme (Heritage Card) which requires the same ID as the CARN cards.

To obtain one of these when you visit us, please ensure that you bring some form of ID (this must contain your address and signature). A UK driving licence is ideal, as it will contain both your permanent address and signature. Alternatively, a combination of documents showing your address and signature will be needed. Examples of documents that could contain the details required include:

​Type of IDContains your address, signature or photograph
​​Bank statements​Address only
​Debit and credit cards​Signature only
​​EU passports​Signature and photograph only
​​Non EU passports​​Only if the address and/or signature is included
​​Pension book​Address only
​​Official letters for example, from Social Services or the NHS​Address only
​UK driving licence (paper or photo card)​Address, signature and photograph
​Utility bills​Address only

Contact us

You can contact us with general enquiries by filling in our enquiry form or by telephone:

Make an enquiry

The best way to contact us is via our online form. However, we also have a telephone number:

01604 362513

Calls are answered during the Record Office's opening times, which are Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.

Please be aware that sometimes, when the office is busy, we are not able to answer the telephone.

External sites to help expand your research


Free subscription to sites such as Find my Past and Ancestry
Only available from Northamptonshire Archives or Libraries internet access.

GOV.UK: Find a will
Find wills from after 1951 (a fee is charged)

Kithead Trust
Run by volunteers, this charity may be able to help trace early vehicle registration information.

Northants FHS
Full of useful information, knowledge and skills.

National Archives
Details of documents held all around the UK.

Northampton Borough Council - a guide to cemeteries

Workhouses
Detailed resources about workhouses around the UK.

Rushden Heritage
Full of resources about Rushden.

Northamptonshire - Britain's best surprise
Lots of information for those planning to visit the county.