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

Search Room Rules

These rules are to ensure the safety and preservation of the archives, and to enable our customers to work in a secure environment. 

By completing the Search Room register you are agreeing to obey the Search Room rules.

Please see our privacy notice (PDF, 200kb).

  • Please hang your coat on the coat hooks just inside the Search Room door, or leave it in one of the lockers outside the Search Room.
  • Please leave all personal belongings, including bags, cases, files and plastic wallets in one of the lockers outside the Search Room, and keep your locker key with you.  You should only take a notebook up to size A4 (21cm x 29cm) and/or up to six loose sheets of paper and pencils 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.  As you leave, please present your notebook/papers to a member of staff for checking.
  • You can bring a laptop into the Search Room, but we will ask you to show it to us, open, before you leave. Laptop cases should be left in a locker.
  • Please write your name and full address clearly in the Search Room register and complete the 'Purpose of Research' and 'Locker Number' columns.
  • Please do not bring food and drink (even sweets) in to the Search Room.  You can return to your locker as often as you need to and there are facilities for eating and drinking elsewhere in County Hall.
  • Smoking is not permitted on the premises.
  • You must consult original documents at a desk in the Search Room and not remove them from the Search Room.  Please keep documents in their original order. 
  • You should only use a pencil to take notes from documents. Pens are not allowed.
  • You must always handle documents with care and not mark them in any way.  Please do not lean on any documents, or rest your paper on them to take notes.  Please tell a member of staff immediately about any damage to a document or to a microfilm or microfiche.
  • You can sometimes use a digital camera or tracing paper to copy documents, but you should ask a member of staff first, for permission, details of charges, and for the relevant forms. Flash photography is not permitted. In most cases, we can supply you with copies of documents.
  • You cannot sell, reproduce or publish copies or transcripts of documents cared for by the Record Office without permission.  Please see User Guide 3: Copying and Publication of Documents, for details.
  • Please work as quietly as possible to avoid disturbing other users.  Mobile phones should be switched off or turned to silent mode.  Please do not make or take calls in the Search Room.  Children should be supervised and have something quiet to occupy them.

Updated June 2018.