A subsidiary of the Archives and Records Association, ARA Commercial Limited operates the Archives Card scheme, whereby a single reader's ticket are accepted by Record Offices that are part of the network, and are used as identification. The card is valid for five years and is available free of charge.
You can register for an Archives Card if you over the age of 14.
You are required to visit a participating Archive within three months of beginning the registration process. If you begin the process online, which is recommended, you will only need to provide proof of identity when visiting the Archive.
You are required to obtain a passport-style photograph to register for a card.
You can either complete the registration when you visit a participating archive, where a staff member will take your photograph, or you can add this to the registration form yourself online.
You have to provide two forms of identification when you visit the Archive to obtain your Archives Card in addition to your passport-style photograph.
Acceptable proof of identity includes:
You must also provide proof of address, which include:
If you cannot provide proof of your identity, the Archive may be willing to issue you with a temporary pass, which will be valid for the day of your visit.
If you are over the age of 14, and cannot provide two pieces of documentation to prove your identity, you can bring a letter signed by your teacher or tutor, and identity which includes a photograph such as a passport, student card, or citizen card.
Most Record Offices will require you to show your card when you visit the Archive. This will usually be at the reception desk.
Some Archives require you to hand in your card when you order any documents in the Archive.
Your card will be valid for five years from date of issue. You will have to go through the process again to obtain a new card at this stage.
Record Offices accepting the Archives Card include:
Please note the National Archives does not accept the Archives Card as you have to obtain their card the first time you use the Archives and this again requires you to take proof of identity along with you.