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When You Arrive

The Parliamentary Archives are located in the Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) and accessed via Black Rod’s Garden.

The entrance is staffed by a friendly Police Officer at all times. You will need to show the Officer your photographic ID and let them know you have an appointment at the Archives. They will then direct you to the airport-style security screening.

Once you’ve completed the security check, please tell the Visitor Assistant in the waiting room that you are here to visit the Archives. They will escort you to our searchroom where you’ll be greeted by a member of Archives staff.

We’ll ask you to sign in, and if it’s your first visit you’ll need to complete a short registration form. We’ll then point out the public facilities and highlight the Archives rules.

Lockers: These are suitable for storing bags and coats. We cannot store large suitcases.

Readers Lounge: The Readers’ Lounge is a dedicated space for our visitors to take a break from their research.

Drink: We provide free tea, coffee and drinking water for our visitors. These can only be consumed in the Readers’ Lounge area.

Food: You’re very welcome to bring your own food. This can only be eaten in the Readers’ Lounge area. There are no food outlets on site, but there are a number of cafes on Horseferry Road, a 10 minute walk away.

Laptops, devices and PCs: You’re welcome to bring your own laptop or device. There are charging points in the searchroom and WiFi is available. Please ask a member of staff for login details when you arrive. There are also four public PCs in the searchroom. These can be used for searching our catalogue, viewing our e-resources or looking at the online catalogues of other organisations.

Digital Photography: You’re welcome to take photos of the documents whilst in the searchroom. We charge a daily fee of £7.50 for camera use but please note, we can only accept cash payments. The use of flash and handheld scanners is not permitted.

Writing equipment: Pens are not allowed in the searchroom. We have a supply of free pencils, or you’re welcome to bring your own.