Accessing archives at Kendal Archives

Please note there are important changes to access arrangements at Kendal which came into effect during week commencing 2 December 2019. Due to limited space in the searchroom we ask researchers to reserve a place before your visit. Please see below for details of these changes.

We will open for 3 days a week from Wednesday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm

We will remain open over lunchtime subject to staff availability. 

If we have to close for lunch, closures will be between 12.30 to 1.30pm and a notice will be posted on our website and in the searchroom before 9.30am on the day of the closure.

A table space may be reserved up to 4pm the day before your intended visit. Space is limited and we cannot guarantee that a space will be available. We strongly advise that you book as far in advance of your visit as possible to avoid disappointment. Reservations will normally be for a day. Please contact the Archive Centre by email at or by telephone on 01539 713540. You can also reserve by post to:

Kendal Archive Centre
Kendal County Offices

Documents no longer need to be ordered in advance of your visit but can be ordered on the day of your visit (some documents are held at an outstore and 7 days' notice is required for access to these advance order collections). 

Document request slips will be available on the searchroom table to order documents. A maximum of two orders may be submitted at any one time. Although we will endeavour to keep the searchroom open over lunchtime documents will not be produced between 11.40am and 2pm. There is, however, no maximum number of documents that can be seen during a visit.

A seat will be reserved for you for the duration of your visit. Because of the limited size of the searchroom please contact us if you would like to bring any additional visitors with you. Any coats and belongings will need to be stored away from your seat. Lockers will be provided for storage of any bags, laptop cases and other belongings not needed for your research. Coats must be hung up on the coat hooks provided. Please make sure you only have notepads and pencils at your allocated seat. You may also bring a laptop or tablet to your allocated seat. Please note that we cannot support the charging of electrical devices including laptops. Please bring a charging pack with you.

You will be required to sign in the visitors' register and hand over your readers' ticket for the duration of your visit. The first items from your requested documents will be waiting on your desk.

A County Archive Research Network (CARN) ticket is essential for access to archive collections. Please visit our readers ticket webpage to find out to get a ticket.

A passport on its own is not sufficient proof of identification. 

We regret that we will not be able to allow access to archives without a CARN ticket.

You are welcome to make copies of documents using a digital or phone camera, subject to our camera licence charges and any copying restrictions for that collection. 

You will be asked to complete a copyright declaration recording your details and the items copied. 

We regret that we no longer offer a copying service at Kendal.

If you are unable to visit the Archive Centre in person, a list of researchers is available on our website.