Cumbria Archive Service - booking a visit

Due to Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions introduced on 31 December 2020, Cumbria Archive Centres at Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven have all now closed to the public with effect from 6 January 2021. The details below about our revised access arrangements are for information only for when we re-open.  We are unable to take bookings for visits until further notice.

We are currently closed until further notice.  Subject to further confirmation, we will re-open for pre-booked appointments only and our new temporary opening times will be Wednesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1pm.

You will now need an ARA Archives Card to see documents when we re-open. CARN reader's tickets will no longer be accepted. A passport on its own is not sufficient proof of identification. 

Please apply for an Archives Card online before your visit and bring the necessary proof of identification so we can complete your application. We can complete your application quicker if you have uploaded your own photograph to the scheme online.

We regret that we will not be able to allow access to archives without an Archives Card.

When will the Cumbria Archive Centres re-open?All four Cumbria Archive Centres are currently closed due to Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions until further notice. Re-opening will depend on guidance issued by the relevant Government and local Public Health authorities.
What changes will there be to public access?Subject to confirmation, users will need to book an appointment. This is to enable safe use of our buildings by maintaining social distancing. Users will also need to pre-order documents required in order that we can arrange quarantining of records after use.
What will be the new opening hours?Subject to confirmation nearer the date of re-opening, all Cumbria Archive Centres will open Wednesday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm. We will extend opening hours according to public demand and staff availability.
When will your normal service be re-introduced?We will resume normal opening, access and services when it is safe to do so in line with the latest Public Health Advice.
Will you do research for me or provide copies while you are closed to the public?We will continue to provide enquirers with one session of 30 minutes of free research time per office undertaken by staff together with any associated digital copies of documents.
Am I still able to join the Archive Service while you are closed?Yes. Cumbria Archive Service will continue to use the new national Archives Card when we re-open. You can sign up for the Archives Card beforehand.
Can I deposit records with the Archive Service?Yes we can now accept records where necessary if this does not contravene Covid-19 restrictions. Please contact the relevant Archive Centre by email  to make an appointment to visit or complete the online deposit form.
Can I volunteer for the Archive Service?We cannot provide onsite access for volunteers at present. Our staff are looking to provide a number of volunteer projects which can be carried out remotely.  We will contact existing volunteers and advertise any wider opportunities.
When will regular outreach activities such as archive discovery evenings, talks and displays start again?We do not have a date when activities will start again; we will introduce our services gradually in line with the latest public health advice. Until then we are looking to extend online content about our holdings and activities.