Accessing archives at Kendal Archives

Kendal Archive Centre re-opened on 5th March 2019 after a closure for refurbishment. There are now significant changes to how to access archives. We will be operating a booking system and you will need to order what you want to see in advance of your visit. This page explains how the service will operate and how to order documents.

Our opening hours
We will open for four days a week from Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. We will remain open over lunchtime subject to staff availability. If we have to close for lunch, closures will be for one hour and a notice will be posted on our website and in the searchroom before 10am on the day of the closure.

Readers' tickets
A County Archive Research Network (CARN) ticket is essential for access to archive collections. Please see our webpage on how to obtain a ticket. Please note that a passport on its own is NOT sufficient proof of identification. We regret that we will not be able to allow access to archives without a CARN ticket.

Ordering documents in advance of your visit
Requests to access documents must be made at least one working week in advance of your proposed visit. Information about our collections can be found in our online catalogue. Please  complete our online booking form. If you prefer you can download and complete this in  Word format (65kb) or PDF format (75kb) and email or post this to us with the reference number and description of records that you wish to see.

You can book the following time slots:

10am to 1pm*
1pm to 4pm*
10am to 4pm*

*We may have to close the searchroom for one hour at lunchtime.

We strongly recommend submitting requests for access and dates to visits by the booking form above. Unfortunately we cannot give detailed advice on the phone about our collections, or provide access for users who have not made an appointment or pre-ordered their documents.

You may order a maximum of 10 items for a day visit (or 5 for a half day session). This can be individual documents and volumes. Where there is not a detailed catalogue of the collection, boxes may be produced to a maximum of 2 per day.

When you arrive: a seat will be reserved for you for the duration of your visit. Due to the limited size of the searchroom please contact us if you would like to bring any additional visitors with you. Any coats and belongings will need to be stored away from your seat. Lockers will be provided for storage of any bags, laptop cases and other belongings not needed for your research. Coats must be hung up on the coat hooks provided. Please ensure that you only have notepads and pencils at your allocated seat. You may also bring a laptop or tablet to your allocated seat. Please let us know in the booking form if you require an electrical socket.

You will be required to sign in the visitors' register and hand over your readers' ticket for the duration of your visit. The first items from your requested documents will be waiting on your desk.

Copying of documents
You are welcome to make copies of documents using a digital or phone camera, subject to our camera licence charges and any copying restrictions for that collection. You will be asked to complete a copyright declaration recording your details and the items copied. We regret that we no longer offer a copying service at Kendal. If you are unable to visit the Archive Centre in person, a list of researchers is available on our website.

Feedback about the service
We welcome your comments about these changes in order to improve the service.