Before a member of the public obtains a reader’s ticket and consults records in the Reading Room, they must agree to abide by the Rules for Readers.
1. The Reading Room is open to readers holding a current reader’s ticket issued by the National Archives. Readers are admitted to the Reading Room only for the purpose of reading archives, finding aids or reference works. When applying for a reader’s ticket, photographic proof of identity must be produced.
2. Readers must sign the Attendance Book in the entrance hall on the ground floor each day.
3. Readers must observe silence in the Reading Room except when consulting a member of staff.
4. Readers must not remove archives from the Reading Room and are responsible for the safety of the archives produced to them until they are returned to the Supervisor.
5. No personal belongings, except material for taking notes and personal computers, may be brought into the Reading Room. Coats, jackets, hats (last two unless being worn) bags, handbags, briefcases, umbrellas and other belongings must be left in the lockers as must mobile phones and pagers. The National Archives will not accept responsibility for readers’ property.
6. Nothing liable to cause damage to archives may be brought into, consumed or used in the Reading Room. This includes food, drink, sweets (including cough sweets and chewing gum), newspapers, ballpoint pens, felt tip pens, fountain pens, ink, fluorescent or other markers, erasers, correction fluids or adhesives of any kind, sharp instruments including pencil sharpeners or staplers, all of which must be left in the lockers.
7. Archives are fragile and must be treated with respect:
* Use book cushions whenever possible;
* Do not place clothing on the reading tables;
* Do not lean on, or place anything on, documents;
* Do not mark, crease or fold documents;
* Do not lick or moisten fingers before turning pages;
* Do not place records or boxes on the floor;
* Do not disorder or rearrange loose documents or remove tags from files;
* Do not attempt to reorder documents yourself;
* Do not turn the pages of documents with a pencil in the hand;
* Please bring to the attention of the Supervisor documents that are disordered, damaged, defective or misfiled;
* Please bring any problem to the attention of the Supervisor.
8. Pencils only may be used for taking notes. Pencils and sharpeners are available at the desk in the Reading Room. Pencils must not be sharpened at the reading tables and personal pencil sharpeners are forbidden.
9. Taping devices and other electronic equipment may be used by arrangement with the Reading Room staff, subject to space and table power sockets and without disturbance to other readers.
10. The use of photographic equipment is prohibited except where special permission has been obtained from the Reading Room Supervisor in advance.
11. The use of copying and tracing devices, as well as personal radios and stereos, is prohibited.
12. Finding aids and reference books should be replaced on their shelves when no longer required. Please use the cushions provided when in use.
13. Archives are copyright and must not be published or reproduced without the written consent of the Director.
14. Readers’ tickets are issued subject to compliance with the Rules for Readers. Failure to observe the Rules for Readers may result in removal of archives from the reader or cancellation of the reader’s ticket. Theft or concealment of archives and wilful damage to archives are criminal offences under Section 18 of the National Archives Act, 1986.