Make an appointment
Find out how to make an appointment to visit the archives.
Coronavirus: temporary closure
Our online appointment system is temporarily suspended while the search room remains closed to the public.
Coronavirus update will tell you when there is any change to the current closure in response to government guidance.
Please make an appointment to consult documents or microfilms in Durham County Record Office. We use a booking system as the number of spaces in the search room is limited. An appointment ensures that a microfilm reader or table space will be available for you when you arrive.
When and what to book
The search room is open Monday to Wednesday and is often busy.
If you are travelling from a distance we recommend that you make an appointment up to two weeks in advance.
The search room is closed from Thursday to Sunday and on all UK bank holidays.
You'll need to book a microfilm reader to look at:
- Church of England parish registers
- Non-conformist church registers
- Cemetery and crematoria records
- Census returns, 1841-1901
- Electoral registers
- DLI war diaries and enlistment/discharge records
- Quarter Sessions order books
- Land tax returns
- Hearth tax returns
To consult all other material in the Record Office, you should book a table space.
If you're not sure what to book, contact us for advice.
Late night opening on Wednesday evenings
If you are visiting the Record Office on a Wednesday evening (4.45-8pm) please make a separate booking for either a table space or a microfilm reader.
You'll need to order documents for use on a Wednesday evening before 2pm on the day of your visit. Please contact us in advance to provide the document references of the items you wish to see. This gives us time to get your documents from the strongrooms while the search room is fully staffed. Orders for Wednesday evenings are now restricted to a maximum of 10 items per person.
How do I make an appointment?
Please contact us.
You can also phone or write to us to make a booking. You'll find all the information you need on our contact us page.
Help with planning your visit
Many people making an appointment ask us about using digital cameras and the general facilities available for visitors. See what to bring with you, where to find us and when you arrive for more advice.