The Reading Room

The Archives are open by appointment only. For more details or to make an appointment please see Southampton Archives or telephone 023 8083 2251 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Contact details

Email: see Southampton Archives
Telephone: 023 8083 2251
Address: Southampton Archives, Lower Ground Floor, Civic Centre, Civic Centre Road, Southampton, SO14 7LY.

Types of records available

You can find many different types of records amongst our collections. These include charters, minute books, letters and diaries, registers, title deeds, maps, plans and photographs.

You may find sources to help trace family history or the history of your house, street or school.

Information about your visit

You will need to bring your Southampton City Library card, a SmartCities card or get a County Archive Research Network (CARN) ticket as identification.

We can issue a CARN ticket free of charge if you bring with you an official means of identification which includes your name and address (for example, a driving licence, utility bill or bank statement).

CARN is a system which issues readers' tickets to allow holders admission to all record offices participating in the scheme. If you intend to use the office regularly it would be advisable to get a CARN ticket.

If you only intend to visit once and don't need a CARN ticket then we can issue you with a day ticket for your visit. You will be asked to sign in our visitors' book, giving your name, address and purpose of visit.

Since most of the records in our care are irreplaceable, there are a few necessary guidelines which we ask you to follow to help us preserve Southampton's archives for future generations:

  • On arrival in the reading room all bags and cases (with the exception of small handbags) should be placed in the lockers provided
  • Only pencils should be used, we have spare if needed
  • Please do not bring in anything to eat or drink. We have a refreshments room available if you want to take break from your study
  • Photography is only permitted with the permission of the Archivist on duty
  • We ask you to keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbing other researchers
  • Mobile phones should be switched off