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 4pm. Please note: the Archive will be closed to the public for a stock take from Monday 13 November to Friday 24 November 2023 inclusive. The Archive will be closed to the public for the festive period from Monday 25 December 2023 to Friday 5 January 2024 inclusive.
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.
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.
Appointments are in high demand, so it is important that you notify us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend, so the space can be offered to another researcher. Please do not miss your appointment without letting us know.
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.