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Date updated: 17/05/2022

Reception area - ground floor

At reception, please sign in and meet here for any events or training sessions.

Everyone with limited mobility can enter through the main public entrance on Northampton Road. There are 34 steps from the front entrance to the public rooms. Each floor is named on the stairs in large print, raised letters and Braille. There is a lift on the left inside the front entrance which has bright yellow doors and lift buttons in raised script. Most powered wheelchairs can fit in the public lift, but we can easily use one of our larger lifts if necessary.

Visitor lounge - mezzanine floor

All coats and bags must be left in the locker room before entry to the reading and reference rooms. This is to ensure safety and security in the public rooms. Lockers and coat racks are located here, and are free of charge.

If you wish to take notebooks and pencils etc to use during your visit, you may use a clear plastic carrier bag, which we will supply free of charge. Please return the bags to reception once you have finished with them so that they can be reused by other readers.

Food and drink can be consumed here (no food or drink is allowed in the public rooms). A water dispenser is available.

Information area

This room contains:

  • Lists giving the reference numbers you need to order documents from our network of strongrooms
  • Microfilm readers. The microfilm collection is no longer self-service, microfilms must be ordered. Please ask staff if you need help with this. Microfilm lists will always say when a document is on film, all microfilm references begin with an 'X'.
  • The core of our 100,000 volume library.
  • History Card registration.
  • Stationery, books, postcards, posters and other items for sale.
  • Reception to pay for and collect any copies of documents you may have ordered.
  • Printed maps, including bomb damage and Ordnance Survey map.
  • A self-service photocopier.
  • Printed Research Guides on selected records and themes.


The Mediatheque is a space to assist access to the graphic materials (prints, maps, plans, photographs and film) held at LMA.

Archive study area

The majority of the documents at LMA must be ordered from the strongrooms. All such original material must be viewed in the archive study area.

  • You can check on the status of your order by logging on to your History Card account - the item will typically be ready to use in the Archive Study Area within an hour of your selected time (e.g. documents in the 11:00 collection are usually ready for use by 12:00)
  • Give your name to the staff behind the Archive Study Area counter and they will give you your documents one at a time.
  • Please use pencil for all note-taking in the reading room to avoid the risk of irreversible damage to documents.
  • Staff can give advice on how documents may be copied. Documents from the reading room cannot be copied on the self service photocopier in the Information Area.
  • Staff will advise on how to handle the documents to keep them in the best condition. Please remember, the documents at LMA are all precious - help us preserve them for future generations to enjoy.


There are parking bays available for blue/orange badge holders adjoining the building. Please contact LMA in advance to reserve a bay. A member of staff will meet you at a pre-arranged time and show you into the car park.


The public toilets are on the first floor next to the lift. There is a toilet accessible to wheelchair users, which also has an alarm cord.

Fire alarm

There is an audible fire alarm in all rooms and also a flashing red alarm light above fire exits. There is a designated refuge for wheelchair users on the first floor - it is beyond a fire door and staff will guide you there. Please do not use the lift in an emergency unless instructed to by the Fire Brigade. Designated staff will supervise the evacuation of the building.