Using the


Archives can be used for research of family history, general historic interest or for legal and evidence purposes.

How to use the archives Book online and your item will be ready to view when you arrive

Search our collections in the online catalogue.
Visit the Catalogue
Reserve items to view using the online form.
Go to online form
Sign in at the Research Room with some ID.
View the item or make copies for your research.
Find us

Reserve an item online View collections catalogue

The Research Room

The research room has two parts, the computer area and the document viewing area. You will need to sign in at reception when you arrive. The research room has study tables, computers, microfiche and microfilm, local history books on open shelves and a self-serve photocopier and printer (see charges on the shop page).

You can access some family history websites free of charge from the computers in the research room. There is also a private interview room to talk about your research, and rooms to watch and listen to our collection of audiovisual archives.

Note: The County Archives Research Network (CARN) reader's ticket scheme has now been retired. You will not be able to renew your ticket, but valid tickets can still be used as ID for your visit to East Riding Archives. Currently there is no replacement for the scheme confirmed. Any details will be shared here when they become available.

Research room rules

Rules for the East Riding Archives research room are in place to ensure the protection of items and encourage a positive environment for staff and visitors. Before your visit, please read through all rules.

Entering the Research Room
  1. Use the free lockers provided, with keys available from reception, to store all valuables, bags and coats. Coats are not allowed on the back of chairs or on tables
  2. Sign the research room register at reception and show a valid ID.
  3. Wash and dry your hands before you handle collections. Dirt and natural oils that build on the skin can damage items.
  4. Switch off any electronic devices, such as mobile phone and personal stereos as these can interfere with research recordings.
  5. If you intend to take photos with your phone, you need to buy a photography pass.
During your visit
  1. Order documents and books you would like to view online in advance, or use the paper slips on the research room desks. Put these in the ‘orders’ box on the wall.
  2. Do not request more than necessary for your research. You can view a maximum of three volumes or 10 individual items at a time.
  3. Only use pencil to make notes in notebooks and on sheets of paper. No ink, pens, corrector fluid, scissors, glue, erasers or post-it notes can be brought into the research room.
  4. Do not remove any documents from the secure area. East Riding Archives is environment-controlled to protect our collections.
  5. Follow our handling guidelines at all time, and treat all items with care. Do not mark books in any way.
  6. Use the protective coverings and supports which we provide. Do not lean on any items.
  7. Use paper strips as provided to follow lines of text. Do not use your fingers.
  8. Keep all documents in the order that staff give to you. Do not re-order or attempt to repair any items. If you feel something is out of place, tell a member of staff.
  9. Some items can be scanned or copied, depending on how fragile they are and copyright law. Please ask a member of staff. You can see charges on the shop page. Do not trace or use handheld, portable or pen scanners as it can damage documents.
  10. You can request to use some items in a publication. See charges on the shop page. Please be aware that some documents are only entitled to a single copy for private use under copyright law.
Personal Equipment
  1. With staff permission, you may use your own laptop, if it runs on battery. Speak to staff if you would like to use tape recorders or other equipment.
  2. We cannot allow any untested electrical devices, including laptop chargers, to be plugged in.
  3. Photography is allowed with a valid photography pass. Do not use flash photography as this can damage items.
Leaving the Research Room
  1. Return all archives to the desk. Do not leave any items on the desks. Please return any books on the open shelves to their places.
  2. Wait for staff to check your documents back and wait for them to open the security door.
At all times
  1. No food or drink, including chewing gum, throat pastilles and bottled water, can be brought into the research room. Visitors to the archives can get 10% discount in the café upstairs in the Treasure House.
  2. Treat staff and other visitors with courtesy and consideration. Do not talk loudly in the research room. There is an interview room available for private conversations about your work.
  3. Children of primary school age or under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Guides to researching The archives are most often used for personal or professional research.
To help you get started, we have created guides on popular research topics.

Family history
Where are you from? How did your ancestors live in the East Riding? Start building your family tree now.
View guide
Property history
Discover whether your home or local building has a hidden story to tell, locked within its four walls.
View guide
Local history
Learn more about the past of your local area in the East Riding.
View guide

What's in our collections?

Our archives collections are full of hidden treasures that reveal secrets of East Riding heritage. It's more than just documents and records, it's about looking back into forgotten lifestyles as well as preserving memories of the East Riding today.

It's more than names and places, there are more curious documents and memories collected as well. Can you solve maths questions from 1750? Will you bake a 200-year-old cake fit for a princess? Look at the types of records we hold at East Riding Archives and find out.

What's in the archives

Add to the archives

Do you have records and information (hard copy or digital) that you think should be preserved in the East Riding Archives? Find out about donating or depositing on our Get Involved page

You can also take part in our Times of Old Re-Told. We're calling for volunteers to share their story and experiences that you feel are important to your life in the East Riding. Our interviewer is looking to record local people talking about village life, Second World War, industry and agriculture, shopping, sport and leisure, transport and house and home. Be part of the story by contacting the team.

Get in touch

Image: Market Place, Beverley c.1900s (archive ref PO-1-14-326)

Professional and education

We welcome all academic researchers, primary school, college and university students, tutors and lecturers. Archives are the perfect source for research in history, art, creative writing and more. The Treasure House Education Officer can provide support on academic research and help arrange talks, tours and collections study sessions. Get in touch for more information.

Get in touch

Image: Beverley [Grammar School] class c.1930s (archive ref DDBB-2-8-16).