Plan your visit

You don’t need to book your space in our searchroom. But if you do, we’ll have your first two documents waiting for you when you arrive.

The searchroom is open on Wednesdays to Fridays, 9.30am – 4.30pm and the first two Saturdays of each month (the second Saturday of the month only from 2024), 10am – 4pm .

Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms. Please respect the staff and visitors who choose to wear face coverings.

About Bristol Archives

We welcome anyone who wants to use our collections and ask for research advice. Our service is open to everyone, free of charge.

Whether you are new to Bristol Archives or you have visited many times before, please take some time to watch this video before you visit us.


How do I book an appointment? 

Advance booking is no longer mandatory – you can come and use the searchroom whenever we’re open. However, some of our customers find advanced booking convenient.

Bookings can be made online through Eventbrite.

We can also take booking by telephone on Tuesday – Friday 0117 922 4224.

During the booking process you will need to order the first two documents you wish to see. This ensures a prompt service for you. You can order further documents in consultation with searchroom staff during your session.

We will contact you on the telephone number you provide upon booking if there are any issues with the documents you have ordered in advance.

If you cannot attend, please cancel your appointment via your Eventbrite booking as soon as possible so we know not to produce your documents.

What happens when I arrive?

If you are driving to B Bond, please make sure you collect a parking permit from the Create Centre reception when you arrive.

Walk through to the Archives from the Create entrance and put your belongings in one of our foyer lockers.

We would like our customers to wash their hands with soap and water before entering the searchroom, not use hand sanitiser. Sanitiser can leave a sticky residue on your hands which may transfer to our precious documents and damage them. Please do not bring your own bottles of sanitiser into the searchroom. There are handwashing facilities in the toilets in our foyer.

Come through to the searchroom and our staff will ask you to sign in if you’ve not booked in advance.

What can I bring with me into the searchroom?

When you arrive, please put your belongings into a locker. Use the clear plastic bag inside the locker to take the things you need into the searchroom.

No pens, food, liquids, bags or coats in the searchroom.

You can bring pencils, paper, and personal devices (laptop / tablet / phone / camera).

Our audio-visual station has headphones, if you’d prefer to use your own please bring them with you.

What facilities are available?
  • Toilets and disabled toilets with hand washing facilities
  • Disabled parking spaces and step-free access
  • Public areas of the building, including our searchroom, are fully wheelchair accessible
  • Spacious reader tables, with dedicated spaces for maps and large documents
  • Free Wi-Fi and power for your laptop and devices
  • Public computers with free access to Ancestry and 19th Century Newspapers
  • A media computer for access to our digitised film and image collections
  • Microform readers: many popular records, such as parish registers, are available on self-service microfiche/film.
  • A library of local history and reference books
  • Spare pencils in case you forget yours
  • The Bristol and Avon Family History Society (BAFHS) provide free advice on family history research. They are here on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons in our education room. They are also here on Saturday mornings when we are open (the first two Saturdays of the month). Please visit the BAFHS website for further information.
Is there a place to eat or drink at B Bond?

The Create Café remains closed although you can purchase snacks (chocolate/crisps etc.) and hot drinks at Create reception.

You may use the sofas in our foyer to eat a packed lunch.

The nearest café is Lockside which is located under the flyover next to B Bond. The cafes and food shops on North Street in Southville are a short walk from B Bond.

What if I want a copy of a document?

We can provide photocopies of documents and fiche for a charge in the searchroom.

You can request for documents to be digitised as per our usual copy order service.

We charge a photography licence fee to visitors who want to take photographs of material in our searchroom using any device. The current fees are:

  • £5.50 for a daily licence
  • £16.50 for a weekly licence
  • £100 for an annual licence

Please note that we cannot allow the use of any kind of scanning devices as these can be harmful to documents.

The charge does not apply to anyone wishing to photograph material they have deposited with us.

All visitors who take photographs need to complete a copyright declaration form, in order to comply with regulations. If you plan to publish your photographs in any form (including on social media), please contact us to ask for our permission. Reproduction fees may apply.

I have material I want to deposit with Bristol Archives. Can I bring it with me on my visit to the searchroom?

No, we will not accept any materials you bring with you to the searchroom.

If you have something you want to deposit, please email [email protected] and we will contact you to make the necessary arrangements.