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Reading room procedures | Archives and collections | Birmingham City Council

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Reading room procedures

Documents preserved in Archives and Collections are unique. Please help us to preserve these documents by following these rules when using the secure archives searchroom:

Searchroom procedures

  1. Wash your hands or use hand-sanitiser before you come into the searchroom and avoid using hand cream. Don’t use hand-sanitiser in the searchroom as it damages documents.
  2. Wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) at all times in Archives & Collections and the wider library as per government guidelines for public buildings, follow one-way systems and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  3. Place coats, bags and items not required for reference purposes in the locker you are allocated. Please note this includes lap top bags and photograph equipment cases
  4. Bring your own paper and soft leaded pencil to use; pens are not permitted.
  5. Only use the table you are allocated.
  6. Turn pages and handle documents carefully. See the handling guidance on your table/trolley if you are uncertain how to handle a document.
  7. Use book supports and flexible weights where appropriate. See the handling guidance on your table/trolley if you are uncertain how to use these.
  8. Only wear gloves when you are handling photographs and hold photographs by the edges.
  9. Do not lick your fingers when turning pages.
  10. Switch your mobile to silent. If you wish to make a call please talk to a member of staff.
  11. No food, drink, gum or sweets are permitted in the searchroom.
  12. Consult staff before taking photographs of any item. Flash is not permitted.
  13. For security purposes, archival items will be weighed or counted out and in.
  14. Return archival items, book supports and weights to your trolley and return the trolley to staff at the counter before you leave.

Seating and archival material

  1. When you are working on archival material you will be asked to sit in the supervised seating area.
  2. For security purposes, archival items will be weighed or counted out and in.
  3. Please return archival items to a member of staff at the counter.