Changes to Search Room Security and Document Production from June 2017

on Wednesday, 12 April 2017.

The preservation of archives for future generations is core to the role of Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Central to preservation are appropriate security measures to prevent loss, theft or damage.

Please note that from 6 June 2017 we will be improving the security of our unique archives by the following measures:

• Researchers should pre-order their documents in advance as much as they are able to (this may be done by telephoning 01249 705500 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

• Each researcher may order as many documents as they need but will only be issued with ONE item (which may be a box, a volume, a printed book, a bundle or a single document depending on numbering) at a time.


• Maps accompanied by a survey book will still be produced together, on the map table.

• Researchers wishing to use more than one document at a time (eg to compare handwriting or for some other legitimate purpose) should speak to the duty archivist in advance of ordering, and will need to sit in close proximity to the help desk to use their items.

• Researchers may if they wish to, indicate the priority of documents at the time of ordering to help with allocating this e.g. if you are ordering a deed and a will, but you wish to view the deed first, put ‘Top priority’ on the order slip

• The researcher should return documents to the search room trolley. Staff retrieving these can then issue the next document to the researcher’s table.

It is recommended that elderly/infirm customers sit close to the returns trolley.

• When there is only one document production assistant working, e.g. Saturdays and lunch times, production times may increase.

We are aware that these changes may slow down the speed of accessing documents slightly but we feel confident that we can still meet our target, which is to provide customers with their first document within 20 minutes from the time of ordering.
Pre-ordering of documents will assist in enabling our staff to continue to provide an excellent service to researchers.

Any concerns or queries about these revised procedures should be addressed to the Principal Archivist – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 01249 705510

Thank you

Comments (3)

  • James Prior

    James Prior

    09 May 2017 at 20:57 |

    Well in advance how is that going to work when I've been able to just come in and get the documents I want. All these changes for who ! I'm sorry Caire but I'm not in a favour for this idea

    Kind Regards



    • Naomi Sackett

      Naomi Sackett

      16 May 2017 at 15:55 |
      Hi James, we are sorry that you are concerned about inconvenience. I must stress that it is still going to be possible to order up documents on the day in question – we are advising pre-order but it is not compulsory.
      The changes are necessary because the security and welfare of our collections is of huge importance. I do hope you will understand. Thank you, Claire Skinner. Principal Archivist


  • Peter


    02 May 2018 at 15:04 |
    I will be travelling a long distance and be in Chippenham overnight prior to visiting the search room. If I order what I think I wish to look at before I travel presumably they will be ready and waiting when the reading room opens. Also does your new policy preclude requesting documents, eg hearth tax documents, if I conclude that it will be useful to see them? Do you have hearth / window tax records for Wiltshire? I have a current CARN card issued by West Sussex County Record Office, can I use that when I visit you?


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