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

What to bring with you

Please note that in response to customer demand we have made changes to our procedures.  We now allow notebooks and have placed a limit on the number of loose papers you can keep with you.

Please place all your personal possessions in one of the lockers provided. Bags, cases, plastic wallets and folders are not allowed in the search room. Please hang up your coat on a coat hook or place in your locker. You will need:

A pencil

Pens are not allowed because of the risk of damage to documents. You can buy pencils in the search room (40p each).

Notebook/loose paper

You can only take a notebook up to size A4 (21cm x 29cm) and/or up to six loose sheets of paper into the search room. If you bring loose papers, we will issue you with a clipboard. Please do not keep loose papers in your notebook.

Ring binders, folders and plastic wallets are not permitted. There are lockers just outside the search room where you can store personal belongings.

For security reasons please present your notebook/papers to a member of staff for checking before you leave.

Background information for your research

As we do not allow any ring binders in the search room, iwe advise you to organise your information into an appropriate format before you visit the Record Office.


You can bring a laptop or tablet into the search room, but we will ask you to show it to us, open, before you leave. There are power sockets beside microfilm readers and most, but not all, tables.

Small change

The Office has a self-service microfilm reader-printer. Each copy costs 50p and it is advisable to bring plenty of small change with you. The reader-printer takes all coins from 50p to 5p.

Digital camera

You may be able to use your own digital camera to copy documents during your visit. The fee is £15.00 per day. Ask staff for details. Please note that you cannot take photographs of:

  • microfilms
  • photographs
  • Ordnance Survey plans
  • tithe plans
  • records with restricted access
  • more than a chapter from a printed book that is still in copyright.