Cumbria County Council’s Archive Centres in Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven will reopen on Wednesday 21 October with new safety measures in place. The Archive Centre at Barrow will reopen later in 2020 due to ongoing building works at Barrow Library.
To protect the health and safety of archives staff and customers, new Covid-secure measures are in place and the opening times and procedures are slightly different.
Key changes include:
Researchers are asked to book a place at least 24 hours in advance so that staff can safely manage the numbers of visitors. Bookings can be made by emailing the relevant Cumbria Archive Centre:
Researchers can also contact Archive Centres by telephone, details are available at cumbria.gov.uk/archives/contact.
The council are also asking researchers to pre-order details of the documents they require.
Visitor opening hours: Wednesday – Friday, 9.30am – 1pm.
Visitors are required to wear face coverings unless they are exempt.
Hand sanitiser stations are located at entrances and exits and customers are advised to use them.
Signage and floor markings are in place to promote 2 metres social distancing and to help people find their way around safely.
They are waiving camera licence charges and ceasing photocopying services to encourage users to take their own photographs and to prevent handling of cash.
They can provide an enhanced enquiry service for customers who cannot visit Archive Centres.
They can now accept donations and deposits of records again by appointment.
To welcome customers back to Archive Centres, staff will be on hand to receive visitors and provide help and advice.
Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “Our Archive Centres hold fascinating record of all aspects of life in the county and our staff can’t wait to welcome visitors back.
“When we re-open we will require visitors to book in advance, this can be done by email or over the phone and will help us to manage the numbers of people visiting.”