Bristol Record Office

Bristol Harbour, c. 1850Bristol Harbour, c. 1850: From the Collections of Bristol Record Office

Bristol Record Office holds records relating to the city of Bristol and its surrounding areas and care for the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection. 

Special collections they hold include the records of J S Fry and Sons and Imperial Tobacco. 

The Office makes these resources freely available to anyone who wishes to access them.

The Archive was established in 1924 and was the first borough Record Office in the United Kingdom. 

It is now based in B Bond Warehouse, where it moved in 1992. 

The Archive is also the Diocesan Record Office for the Diocese of Bristol.

Resources held by the Archive include documents, manuscripts, maps and photographs.

Whether you are interested in local history, conduct research for a school, college or university assignment, wish to trace the history of a house, or research your family history, you will find a document useful in your research.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Information about Bristol Record Office


Bristol Archives (via Create Centre)
'B' Bond Warehouse 
Smeaton Road 

Telephone Number:

0117 9224224



For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and peruse their online catalogue. Collections include:

  • Bristol business records
  • Estate records
  • Local organisations records
  • Maps
  • Official records
  • Parish registers and records
  • Photographs
  • Public records
  • Records of the Diocese of Bristol

Their searchroom contains:

  • Tables, with some tables set aside for people wishing to consult maps or large documents
  • Free WI-FI and power for electronic devices
  • A media computer providing access to their digitised film and image collections
  • Microform readers for access to records such as parish registers
  • Public computers offering free access to Ancestry

Their searchroom also contains local history books.

Opening Hours

Opening Hours can be found by going to their Opening Hours page.

Location and Directions

The Archive is situated in 'B' Bond Warehouse.  It is 30 minutes walk from the city centre and 45 minutes walk from Bristol Temple Meads railway station.  

Limited parking is available at Bristol Archive.  A small car park is available at the Create Centre, and on-street parking is available on Avon Crescent(BS1 6XQ) and Cumberland Road(BS1 6UF).

The Wessex Connect 506 service stops at the Office. Other buses are also accessible from the bus station, stopping just before Junction Lock Bridge on Hotwell Road.  Another available option is to use Long Ashton Park and Ride which stops near the Archive, leaving from Merchant's Road bus stop.  

Bristol Temple Meads railway station is 2 miles from the Archive.  


You do not need to book to visit the Office, but they do recommend that you contact them in advance of your visit to ensure they possess the documents you wish to consult.


You can take photographs of certain documents, but Bristol Archives makes a charge to people wishing to take advantage of this service.  You also need to complete a copyright declaration form.  

Some documents cannot be photographed if doing so would damage them.  Scanning devices however are not permitted because they could harm the documents.  


The Archive does not have a cafe, but one is accessible in the Create Centre, which is housed in the same building.  The Office does however have a rest area with a drinks machine, where you can eat your own food.


The building is fully accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Research Service

They offer a Research Service if you are unable to visit the Archive.  

Readers' Tickets

Everyone visiting Bristol Record Office has to sign in, but you do not need to take formal ID with you in order to visit them.

Twitter and Facebook Accounts

Bristol Archives has a Twitter Account, accessible at @bristolarchives.  They provide details regarding their collections and events in this account.

The Archive also has a Facebook page, @bristolarchives, where they write posts about the Archive and answer visitors' queries.

For further information regarding Archives in Gloucestershire, please visit my page regarding Gloucestershire Archives.

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