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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Visitor services

Find out about the range of services we offer to people visiting the archives in County Hall:

  • Public search room
  • Exhibition area in the entrance corridor
  • Organised group visits
  • Family and local history courses
  • Third Thursday talks programme
  • Themed open days to coincide with Local History Month and National Family Week

Last year about 4,000 people used our Search Room to study many different aspects of County Durham's history.

People use archives for a wide variety of reasons. Some of our visitors are pursuing a personal interest or hobby such as family or local history, or use archives for education purposes. Other visitors consult the archives as part of their business activities, to establish legal rights, investigate archaeological or environmental issues or carry out research for a book or television programme. Some people visit us to get certified copies of documents they need, such as baptism entries used to support applications for a school place in a faith school, or to get married abroad in a Roman Catholic church.

It is free to visit and study the archives in the Search Room at County Hall, but we make a charge for any copying or research that we do for you.

Please make an appointment before you visit as space is limited. We advise you to make an appointment at least two weeks in advance if you want to visit on a specific date.

To help you find the records you need, the archives are described and listed in detailed catalogues. You can search the catalogue online and there is a paper version of the catalogue in the Search Room.

Our Collections search page has links to the online catalogue and five additional databases containing information about popular collections.

For more detailed information see the Visit us section of our website and our Copying service page.