Visit Cornwall Record Office
Everyone is welcome to visit the Record Office to look at the documents in our care (although young children may get bored!). There is no charge to use the service, but please do make an appointment in advance.
- Opening hours
- Pre-ordering documents
- Ordering documents during your visit
- Facilities and access
- What to bring
- Phones and cameras
- List of charges
- Getting here and parking
With the exception of Mondays and our monthly Collections Weeks, when we are closed to the public, we are open:
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am – 4:30pm
- One Saturday a month 10am - 1pm (please check the calendar below)
Our collections weeks are the first full calendar week of each month. Please use the link below to see a full calendar of our 2014 opening hours.
If you have any enquires during our Collections Weeks please email firstname.lastname@example.org or for bookings, telephone 01872 323127.
To ensure we have availability in the searchroom, we strongly recommend you book an appointment in advance. Appointments can be for a morning, afternoon or all-day session. The morning session runs from 9am-1pm and the afternoon session from 1pm-4.30pm. To save time on the day you are also able to pre-order the documents you would like to look at. For further details or to make an appointment and pre-order documents, please contact the Record Office using the details on the right. If possible, please allow up to two weeks' notice (especially in the summer months) in order to avoid disappointment.
You can order your documents in advance by email, letter or telephone. Please provide us with the full reference numbers for the documents you would like to use. You can use our online catalogues to find the references. You can order up to five items but please give at least two working days' notice so that we have time to get the items ready for you.
In some instances we may consider producing more items but this will be at the Duty Archivist’s discretion and we would require at least five working days' notice.
Please tell us if you need to cancel your visit so that your documents can be returned to the strongrooms.
Ordering documents during your visit
You can order original documents from the strongrooms throughout the day during your visit. The first production run in the morning leaves at 9:15, and takes place every half an hour until 12.15. The afternoon productions begin at 13:30 and take place every half an hour until 15.30. You can order three items at a time and we will hand out the documents one at a time.
The documents usually arrive within 30 minutes. However, when the searchroom is busy we might not be able to produce your documents as quickly as we would like so we would ask you to be patient in these circumstances. We will keep you informed of any problems or delays with your requests throughout your visit.
Facilities and access
Situated in Truro, Cornwall Record Office lies in the grounds of the Old County Hall site and is clearly marked in the site by signs stating 'Cornwall Record Office' and 'County Records'.
The building is constructed on one level for easy access; toilets and a seating area are available in the foyer. There are no refreshments available at the Record Office, but a supermarket and café are located very near by.
Wheelchair access tables are available in the searchroom but please contact us before your visit to ensure maximum assistance.
What to bring
Everyone using the Record Office is required to have a valid reader's (CARN) ticket. If you do not have a CARN ticket from another record office, please bring some identification (including your name, address and signature) and a ticket will be issued to you. You will be asked to sign the visitors' register - signing in means that you agree to abide by the searchroom Conditions of Access.
Visitors will also need pencils, as no pens are permitted in the searchroom.
You may bring laptop computers, transparent document folders or wallets, notebooks, loose papers, glasses, cameras, keys and pencils into the searchroom with you. Please leave everything else (including bags, folders and pencil cases) in the lockers in the foyer. You will need a £1 coin to operate the locker, which is refunded when you have finished using it.
Unless you are wearing your coat, please hang it on the coat hooks provided, or place it in your locker.
Please note, there is no food or drink (including sweets and chewing gum) permitted within the searchroom.
Phones and cameras
For the benefit of other users, please observe a quiet working atmosphere and ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or in silent mode.
It is possible to take your own photographs of original documents, rather than use our document copy service. You will need to complete a photography form and copyright declaration, available in the searchroom, and pay the appropriate charge. The current charges are £5 per day, £15 per week or £100 per year and these also apply for the use of mobile phone cameras.
Please note that the size of some maps, plans and drawings can make it difficult to photograph the entire document in one image. A tripod may be used to maximise the quality or coverage of the image, but we do not permit standing on chairs or placing items on the floor. In order to minimise disruption to other searchroom users, the use of flash is not permitted.