Image of an Archive Card

You will need an Archives Card to use any of the council's Archive Centres and to access the original records within them. The Archives Card is a national scheme from the Archives and Records Association (UK) and replaces the CARN readers' ticket scheme, which is no longer valid.

The Archives Card can be issued (to anyone aged 14 or over) on their first visit to one of our Archive Centres. The card is available free of charge. Once issued, tickets are valid for 5 years. To obtain an Archives Card, we recommend you start your registration online at the Archives Card website before you visit (click Sign Up to create an account). You can upload a passport-style photograph of yourself if you have one. If you do not have a recent photograph that you can upload at home, staff at the Archive Centre you visit can take a picture of you using a webcam.

You will need an email address to use this system. Each visitor should have their own email address to apply for an Archives Card and one (shared) email address cannot be used to create two separate accounts. Staff can help you to create an email account if you do not already have one.

You must visit one of the participating Archive Centres within 3 months of submitting a form online in order to complete the application process. When you visit, please bring two forms of identification, one showing your signature (such as a debit card) and one with proof of your address (e.g. a driving licence). We can accept online bank statements or utility bills displayed on your digital device providing these documents also show your address.

The following are suitable forms of ID. Please note you cannot use the same document for both proof of identity and proof of address where the same document appears in List A and List B:

 A. Proof of identity (must include a valid signature)

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Bank card
  • Credit card
  • Government / local council staff ID
  • UK or other European Union national ID card
  • Police / Customs / Home Office warrant card
  • HM Forces ID card
  • Sea/Air Master's licence
  • NUJ pass

B. Proof of address

  • Driving licence with address
  • TV licence
  • Utility bill (issued within the last three months)
  • Bank / building society statement (issued within the last three months)
  • Credit card statement (issued within the last three months)
  • Council tax bill / Council rent book (most recent bill)
  • HM Revenue and Customs statement
  • Passports with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • UK or other European Union national ID card with address
  • Home Office permit to stay
  • University certificate for hall of residence (stamped and signed by institution)
  • UK Firearms licence
  • Home insurance policy (policy must be in force)
  • International student photo card