Borthwick Institute for Archives
Please visit the University's transport pages for information on getting here and information on parking, buses, cycle routes etc.
Please refer to our accessibility information web page if you have any accessibility requirements.
Please do not book or attend an appointment if you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), or if you are awaiting a test result.
Please find below our staffed opening hours for which a pre-booked appointment is required.
The Microform room is also open during the following hours. Please note however that bookings cannot be made for these times. Instead the microfilm readers in this room are available on a first come, first served basis. Please see under ‘Access to the Microform Room Outside our Staffed Opening Hours’ section for more details.
Please contact us to book an appointment, either via email or phone:
We're based in the University of York Library, on the Heslington West campus.
Please tell staff at the Library entrance that you have an appointment at the Borthwick. Staff will also be available to direct you to the Borthwick reception and searchroom.
Microform records can be consulted outside of our staffed hours (see under ‘Opening Times’ for more details). The microform room can be accessed via the first floor landing in the Raymond Burton Library.
Bookings cannot be taken for access to the microform room during these hours. The digital microform readers, from which digital copies of the records can be taken by bringing along a USB/Memory Stick, are therefore available only on a first come, first served basis. We do however have several traditional, hand-operated microfilm readers in the event that all the digital readers are in use.
Please be aware that no staff support will be available during these hours. In the microform room, there are printed instructions available on how to use the digital microform readers, as well as finding aids for our principal microform collections. You can also find digitised copies of these finding aids on our website.
We are able to respond to enquiries via email, telephone, post and social media. For more extensive enquiries, our searching service is available, and our copying service is also available if you would like copies of our records. For more information on our holdings, please see our online catalogue, Borthcat.
Many of our Parish Registers, Bishops’ Transcripts and Marriage Bonds and Allegations are available via Find My Past, our Parish Registers are available through Ancestry and our Cause Papers, Archbishops' Registers, and Retreat hospital archive are available, for free, 24/7 online.
Unfortunately no, but we periodically review our opening policies, and any changes will be communicated via the news pages of our website and social media feeds.
You can however access our microform records without a booking outside of our staffed hours. For further information please see the section ‘Access to the Microform Room Outside our Staffed Opening Hours’.
We ask that researchers consulting original documents continue to pre-order their documents in advance of their visit. Retrieval in advance allows us to assess and prepare your documents and guarantee their availability. It also ensures that you can make the most of your time with us. We may however be able to retrieve additional records for you during your appointment depending on the access conditions of the records and staff availability.
Our staff are available to help you select documents before your visit. Please contact us via email or phone.
Microfilm records are available to browse and select on a self-service basis
You will need to continue to book your appointment with us in advance of visiting, and we recommend giving us as much notice as possible. This allows us to assess availability in our reading room and to prepare your documents. For some archival material, we require a minimum of 24 hours' notice before your appointment.
Information on how to search our online catalogue and learn more about our holdings is available. If you need any help or have any questions, please do get in touch via email or phone.
Free to use lockers are available in our reception room for bags, coats, and other personal items.
Toilets will be available. The library cafe serves sandwiches and hot and cold snacks and has a range of indoor and outdoor seating. No food or drink can be consumed in the Borthwick itself.
We advise you to bring a camera and purchase a photographic licence if you would like to take copies. We can take orders for digitised copies (where the document is suitable for this) but will not be able to provide copies during your visit. Any copies ordered will be sent on either to your email address, or by post with the addition of a postage fee.
You are welcome to browse and access the paper finding aids and publications in our searchroom reception. We’re also working to make more of our finding aids available through our online catalogue.
Yes! We aim to be as helpful as possible. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you require any guidance during your visit.
Researchers are advised to bring everything they need for their research with them, but we may be able to provide pencils and loose sheets of paper as circumstances allow.
We can take contactless or card payments. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash.
You’ll find a number of research guides on our website that are designed to help visitors discover and interpret the archives in our care.
A number of our archives also have dedicated search tools or are available to browse online.