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You are currently in: Visiting the Essex Record Office

On arrival

22 February 2011

The Essex Record Office (ERO) is located at Wharf Road, Chelmsford. The Searchroom is open during the following hours:
  • Monday: 9am – 8.30pm;
  • Tuesday - Thursday: 9am – 5pm;
  • Friday - Saturday: 9am – 4pm.

We are closed on Sundays, and will also be closed on the following days in 2011:

  • Friday 1 January
  • Friday 22 April to Monday 25 April inclusive
  • Friday 29 April
  • Monday 2 May
  • Monday 30 May
  • Monday 29 August
  • Monday 28 November to Saturday 10 December inclusive
  • Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 December inclusive

For more information, contact the ERO.

Arrival and access

The entrance to the building faces the River Chelmer. Visitors should report to reception, which is located to the right of the entrance. All visitors are required to hold a County Archive Research Network (CARN) reader ticket. A valid CARN ticket issued by another office is acceptable. If you do not possess a CARN ticket, one will be issued at reception, free of charge, providing you have the required documentation.
To issue a CARN ticket, we require proof of your identity that shows name, address and signature. A driving licence is ideal, but a combination of documents (such as passport and utility bill) is also acceptable. Once inside the ERO, you will need to be in possession of your CARN ticket at all times. Staff will ask to see it before you are able to enter or leave the Searchroom.
The ground floor also contains vending machines and a seated area where lunches can be eaten. Toilets are located on the ground floor, just behind the seating area.

The Searchroom

The documents we hold are accessed in the Searchroom, which is on the first floor. Access is by lift or stairs and there is access for people with disabilities.
No bags are allowed inside the Searchroom, and lockers are provided for safe storage of items. Coats should also be left outside. In order to avoid damaging the documents in the archive, temperature in the Searchroom is kept at a constant low level, so it is advisable to wear a sweater.
Once belongings are stowed away, visitors have to sign in and show their CARN ticket to the staff member on duty. The staff member will then allow access to the Searchroom, and return your CARN ticket.
In the Searchroom, your CARN can be exchanged for documents you require. You will not be allowed to leave the Searchroom unless you are in possession of your CARN ticket. This is to ensure that documents are returned prior to departure. For more information, see the Using the Searchroom page.
Once inside the Searchroom there is a range of assistance available to enable you to locate the item you require.
Access to the Searchroom is subject to the conditions below.

Searchroom conditions of use 

The following conditions of use are in place to ensure the security and protection of the items contained in the ERO. If you have any queries, the archivist on duty will be able to help, or you can contact the ERO prior to your visit. Use of the Searchroom is dependent upon acceptance of these conditions;
  • All bags must be stored in the locker room. Both the locker room and Searchroom have CCTV.
  • Take as little as possible into the Searchroom. Notes are allowed, but if they are in folders we reserve the right to search any folders when you leave. Transparent wallets are provided for holding notes and small items.
  • Pens are not allowed in the Searchroom. Only pencils may be used.
  • Laptops may be used in the Searchroom. Each desk has power points for your use. Laptop bags must be left in the locker room.
  • Digital cameras may be used, subject to the conditions of use. Scanners are not allowed.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Searchroom. This includes bottled water and cough sweets.