Hertfordshire Record Office preserves and collects records and documents relating to the county of Hertfordshire. These resources cover the period from 1060 to the present day.
The Archive then makes these documents freely accessible to everyone who wishes to consult them.
The documents cover many subjects such as cemetery and burial records, census returns, coroner's records, electoral registers, hospital records, maps, newspapers, parish records, nonconformist records, school records and trade directories.
Whatever the reason for your visit, whether you are tracing your family history, researching the history of a house or wish to learn more about your local area, you will find them helpful.
If you require assistance, the knowledgeable and helpful staff will be pleased to help you.
Databases that can be searched through these catalogues, which is collectively known as Hertfordshire Names Online, include:
Document References obtained by using the service may be used to order and view original documents in the Reading Room. You can also search their holdings by using the online catalogue. Covering the eighteenth century to the present day, this is an index to people, places and events containing over 500000 names.
Opening Hours can be found by perusing the appropriate section of the Office's visit the archives page.
Free parking is provided for people visiting the Office but it may be difficult to find a space on days when meetings are taking place at County Hall. Visitors are allowed to use staff car parks on these occasions. They do, however, have disabled parking.
You do not need to book in advance of your visit, but are recommended to order documents in advance to save time when you arrive. Some documents are held off-site, so advance booking of these is suggested.
Power points are provided for the use of laptops, and free wi-fi is also available. Computers are also available for use by visitors, but you do have to pay a fee if you wish to use the computer for general use, rather than for researching your family history.
You do not have to be a member of the library to use their computers, but they charge more to non-members. You are only able to join the library if you live, work, or study in Hertfordshire, and have to fill in an online form.
You can then collect your card from any Hertfordshire library within 6 weeks, but do have to take some form of identification showing your current name and address, including a bank statement, official letter, or utility bill. If you are under 16, you have to take an adult with you when you register who can verify that they will be responsible for any charges you incur whilst using library services. If you do not collect your card within 6 weeks, your membership will be cancelled.
You can bring your own camera into the Office, but must inform a member of staff before taking any photographs because some documents are fragile and easily damaged, so taking photographs of them is prohibited. A fee is chargeable to people taking advantage of this service.
The building is fully accessible, with wheelchair access. They also have disabled toilets.
A hearing loop is operational in the building.
Magnifying equipment is available for those with a visual impairment.
Hot and Cold Drinks machines are provided in a comfortable seating area within the building, and there is also the option to use the County Hall Staff Restaurant between 12.00-2.00pm.
Numerous restaurants, cafes and pubs are in the town centre, which is only a small distance away. People are advised to remember however that food and drink is not allowed in the Reading Rooms.
Books, maps and DVDs can be purchased from the Archives' shop, which include:
Hertfordshire Record Office offers a Research Service for those unable to visit in person.
For payment of a fee, you are welcome to join the Archives' Family History Club, which has monthly meetings.
The Archive has a Twitter Account, @HertsArchives, where they provide details of local events and news, information regarding Office collections, and help with your family history research.
The Archive is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network)