Good news for Lancashire historians as county's archives reopen for first time since Covid-19 lockdown in March

The doors to Lancashire’s past are being thrown open again, as the the county’s archives welcome visitors for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 12:30 pm

Lancashire Archives will be open to visitors from Tuesday, October 6, as part of a phased reopening of Lancashire County Council’s archives, museums and libraries. People will need to book an appointment before visiting.

The building will be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm, for pre-booked appointments only. The archives will close from 12.30pm to 1.30pm so that the public areas can be cleaned between sessions. There will be no public access to the building during this time.

Visitors will be asked to complete an online booking form, giving their preferred dates and sessions and listing all the document reference numbers, titles of books, or details of other material that they would like to use. An Archives Card will also need to be applied for in advance of a visit. More information is available at www.archivescard.com

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Lancashire Records Office, on Bow Lane, Preston, where the archives are based

For those who can’t book online, appointments can be made by emailing the archives directly at [email protected]

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “I’m delighted that we are now able to announce the reopening of our wonderful archives to the public.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming people back into the archives again, but we need to take a careful approach to this.

“I’m grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I’d ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce further details of other libraries and museums reopening, when it is safe to do so.”

When visiting the archives, all visitors will be required to wear a face covering unless they are exempt. People are asked not to visit if they are self-isolating, or showing any signs of Covid-19.

Visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines, and to keep a 2 metre distance from other visitors at all times.

All books, maps and documents, microfilm and microfiche that visitors want to look at must be ordered in advance.

Everyone will also be asked to provide their name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system. This can be by scanning a poster in the archives building using the new NHS COVID-19 app.

More information about visiting the archives during the current restrictions is available at https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/archives/

The copying and enquiry service is still available and catalogues can be searched online at https://archivecat.lancashire.gov.uk/calmview/

For more information visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/archives, telephone 01772 533039 or email [email protected]