When you arrive

To avoid disappointment, it is advisable to book a place in advance to visit us. So please do not travel without making a booking.

We do not have an online booking facility so please contact us via email or call 0118 937 5132 during our opening hours.

Christmas 2023

We be closed from 25th to 29th December 2023. We will reopen at 09:00 on Tuesday 2nd January 2024 (we do not open on Mondays, weekends or Bank Holidays).

If you plan to visit us during the week of 2nd to 5th January 2024, please aim to book by 22nd December 2023 at the latest. Thank you.

When you arrive

Please arrive at the time you have booked for your session.

Upon arrival at reception of the Royal Berkshire Archives (RBA), we will ask you to do a number of things. 

We ask you to sign our visitors' book. By doing this, you agree to abide by various guidelines to help us preserve our collections.

Archives Card

We require visitors looking at original documents to register for an Archives Card which is a national scheme allowing visitors to use one card to visit all participating archive services.

Registration needs to be done in advance of your visit which is then completed when you arrive.

Full details on how to sign up and what ID is required, can be found on the Archives Card website.

If you are unable to apply for an Archives Card, you will need to bring some form of ID with address and/or signature with you on your visit to be issued a Day Pass in order look at original documents. This will only be valid for the day of your visit.

Your Archives Card or Day Pass will be kept on the shelf holding the records you intend to look at for the duration of your visit, so please remember to take it into the searchroom with you.

CARN tickets - we will continue to accept CARN tickets that are in date, but not all record offices are doing so. Therefore it is advisable to replace an old CARN ticket with an Archives Card when you can.

An Archives Card or Day Pass are not required for looking at library material, microfilm/microfiche or the computers, but please be prepared to apply for one should you need to look at original records at any point on your visit.

Other things

Please note that we currently have problems with our card machines which means we are unable to take card payments. Please be sure to bring sufficient cash for your visit. See our news page for updates.

We will ask you to place your coat and bag in the lockers provided (lockers are free), and to not take food, drink, pens or bladed tools into the searchroom.

We also ask you to turn your mobile phone to silent, and to otherwise be reasonably quiet in the searchroom. This helps your fellow visitors. Personal audio equipment is allowed as long as you listen through headphones at a low level.

We hope you will enjoy your visit to the RBA.