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Date created: 10/23/2020

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is open to visitors on a pre-booked basis for access to original documents only. You can check details of opening hours and how to book a place at LMA on our opening times page.

In order to comply with government guidance for social distancing and public safety, there will be some differences to your experience. Here is an outline of what you can expect during your visit.

When you arrive

  • We’ll open up for pre-booked researchers at 10.30. As our lobby is small, there can only be three visitors at one time so you may have to wait outside for a few minutes
  • We’ll check your name on our list of researchers for the day
  • Test and Trace: we will be sharing data with the relevant authorities as required; please ask for further details or see poster in Visitors’ Lounge

During your visit

  • Use of masks is now mandatory in archives as well as libraries, museums and galleries. If you have an exemption, you may wish to let us know so as not to delay your admission to LMA
  • You can leave your bag and coat in a locker in our Visitors’ Lounge and take up your laptop/phone/pencil and paper to the public rooms (Information Area and Archive Study Area)
  • We will have windows open in our Archive Study Area (ASA) to ensure that there is adequate ventilation to keep us all safe. The ASA may therefore be a bit colder than we would ideally like. Please wear several layers of clothes. You can wear a scarf if you wish but coats and jackets must stay in the Visitors’ Lounge
  • Following government guidance, a member of staff will open windows wider in the ASA for 10 minutes at 12.30 and 2pm each day
  • You can use the contactless vending machine (and get free cold water) in the Visitors’ Lounge and also consume your own food and drink there at any point during your visit. If you want to go out to buy/eat food, you are welcome to do so and come back in to LMA
  • Visitors are encouraged to use the lift. You can use the stairs but these may also be used by our staff
  • You can use the First Floor toilets at any point during your visit. Please wash your hands thoroughly and apply hand sanitiser throughout your visit - apart from in the Archive Study Area where it might damage documents

Viewing archive documents

  • Come up to our Information Area where you’ll be given your table number. You can buy our camera permit here to take your own photographs – please bring a contactless payment card. If you are a new researcher you will get your History Card here
  • Next you will wait outside the ASA to be let in when it is possible for you to move safely to your table. You may have to wait a couple of minutes
  • Your documents (and any related material) will be waiting for you on a trolley beside your designated table. Please consult them one at a time and put them carefully back on the trolley when you’ve finished with each one
  • Document supports and weights are available. Please take these to your desk and leave them there at the end of the day
  • Please handle documents with care and respect throughout your visit. Staff are invigilating for the safety of researchers and documents and will ask you to be more careful if necessary. In line with City of London guidance we are minimising the need for contact with members of staff, but do ask a quick question to the staff near the door. Conversations will be kept brief
  • Quarantine – all documents will be quarantined for at least 72 hours after use