Covid-19 guidelines for visiting HARC

Reopening HARC

We are delighted to welcome our visitors back to explore Herefordshire’s archives. In view of the continued prevalence of covid-19, we have introduced changes to our usual services and procedures. These will help keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe. Please take time to read the following guidance to avoid disappointment and to promote a safe research environment for everyone.

If you just need to consult a single item and your visit is likely to be a brief one, please contact us to discuss the copying of documents as part of our research service, and as a possible alternative to visiting.

Please remember that booking is essential.

Opening hours

  • Tuesday 10.am to 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 10.am to 3.30pm
  • Thursday 10am to 3.30pm
  • We will not be open on Saturdays for the time being

Before your visit

  • Please do not come to HARC if you are experiencing any covid-19 symptoms.
  • There are five research spaces available for consulting original documents only. These spaces must be booked in advance.
  • Please make sure that we hold the archives you wish to consult before you make your booking by checking our online catalogue and index or emailing archives@herefordshire.gov.uk 
  • We encourage you to pre-order up to three documents as part of your booking. There will be regular, fixed opportunities to order a limited number of additional documents during your visit.

Book a research space 

  • Booking a research space in advance is essential. Please email to make a booking:
    • Give your expected time of arrival
    • An alternative date
    • Your pre-order of up to three documents if you wish
  • We will confirm your booking by email.
  • Only one person per booking is allowed.
  • In the interests of fair allocation, you may only make one booking per week on alternate weeks.

Email us to make your booking

Remember to bring:

  • A valid Archives Card, CARN ticket or proof of name and address for registration purposes.
  • All your own refreshment, including tea, coffee and bottled water. We are sorry that our hot drinks machine is currently unavailable.
  • Pencils and paper for note taking. Pens are not allowed in the searchroom.
  • A camera or phone for photographing documents. Please see our service charges for associated costs.

During your visit, please:

  • Note that you will have to wear a face covering while you are in HARC.
  • Observe two metre distancing from staff and other researchers throughout your visit.
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving the building and wash your hands frequently during your visit.
  • Queue to register in the direction indicated and sign the visitors’ book using your own pencil where possible. You will be allocated a desk and locker for all bags and items not allowed in the searchroom.
  • Be prepared to give your contact details for covid-19 Test and Trace purposes. These will be destroyed after 21 days.
  • Minimise movement around the searchroom and elsewhere.
  • Have your lunch and refreshment breaks at the designated table in the atrium.

Facilities and services

  • Microfilm readers and public access computers will not be available for use. Microfilmed documents, such as parish registers, may be ordered, provided that they are fit for production.
  • There are hourly document production times. Your requests will be collected from your table and documents will be brought to you. Please remain in your seat.
  • Catalogues, indexes and library books are not available for browsing. Please ask a member of staff to check these on your behalf for quick references. These items may be consulted for sustained periods but must be left on your desk for collection after use.
  • Documents may be photocopied, as long as there is no risk of damaging them, by members of staff. The photocopier will be cleaned after use.
  • Payments for goods and services must be made by charge card.

We will review the restrictions to our services in line with Government advice and publicise any changes. Thank you very much for your help in keeping HARC a safe place in which to work.