Using the Archive
Anyone can visit the Bank of England Archive by appointment, as long as they are doing genuine research.
Our catalogue is available online for users to consult. The catalogue contains descriptions of records, rather than the records themselves.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, you are welcome to contact us with a brief summary of your research and we will be happy to advise you. In the case of genealogical enquiries, we can usually check a small amount of salary ledgers or customer account or stock indexes.
Making an appointment and ordering material
The Archive is open by appointment only. Our current opening hours are Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 3pm.
We recommend that you search our online catalogue and send us a list of items you would like to request ahead of your visit. There is a daily maximum of 15 items per researcher. If you pre-order fewer than 15 items, you can still request additional items on the day, up to a maximum of 15 per visit.
The Archive will be closed from Monday 3 to Friday 14 October 2022. This is to enable the Archive team to work on their annual stocktake. You will not be able to visit our searchroom during this period, but we will continue to answer enquiries.
Appointments must be booked at least one working day ahead, via email or phone. We advise you to book well in advance and before making travel arrangements, as demand is high throughout the year and we cannot guarantee space will be available at short notice.
Each individual visitor requires an appointment, and appointments are for the named person only. If you are planning to visit with a colleague, friend or relative, each person will require a separate appointment. If you are unable to visit in person, you are welcome to send someone on your behalf.
Every visitor must provide, before their first visit, a photo ID (for example a passport or driving license).
During your visit
On arrival, researchers must complete a user registration form agreeing to the Bank’s conditions of access.
Wi-Fi is available in the building.
The search room is open at lunchtime, though no files can be ordered between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. There is a seating area available, where visitors can eat their lunch. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles and cups, which they can refill at our water dispenser.
We are unable to provide copies of documents, but researchers are welcome to use their own cameras or other devices to make copies for private or non-commercial research. Please bring your own camera as we are unable to lend you one. Stands for cameras are available. Cameras may only be used in designated areas, and after you have completed the appropriate copyright agreement.
Please make sure that you are happy with the quality of your images before you leave the search room, as we are unable to retake photographs on your behalf.
Your visit and Covid
Whilst there is no natural ventilation within the Archive searchroom area, effective airflow is facilitated through mechanical ventilation in line with industry guidance, in addition as part of its Covid controls the Bank also implements enhanced daily cleaning in all areas of its buildings. There is no mandatory mask wearing or social distancing within the Bank, but you may wear a mask or face covering and socially distance if you wish to whilst onsite.
If you are showing any symptoms of Covid, have tested positive, or are unwell, please do not come into the Bank. If you are living with someone who has tested positive, we would encourage you to reschedule your appointment.
If a researcher needs to cancel/reschedule a visit for Covid-related reasons, we will make every effort to offer them a new appointment as soon as they are able to re-book, rather than sending them back to the end of the queue.