We received this update from Adrian Gregson, the Worcestershire County and Diocesan Archivist.

I wanted to make contact with you and your historic community to let you know what we have been doing recently at Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology. As you will know, our public searchroom is currently closed but when conditions permit and lockdown eases, we hope to be open again on the same basis as we were from last September. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we were open 1030-1530 to a maximum of five people. Bookings and document requests had to be made at least 7 days in advance. A maximum of 10 documents could be ordered.

The reasoning behind this – in common with the National Archives and other Archive offices around the UK – is to minimise direct contacts, operate in a safe spaced environment, and allow reasonable quarantine periods between the use of documents. Our arrangements are slightly different to libraries because our researchers spend much more time working with the collection than is normally found browsing in a public library.

In due course we should be able to expand this offer, but at the moment we do not know when that will be.

We are still, and will continue to, answering online enquiries and you can contact us by using this link: online enquiry form

We continue to offer advice and information on our holdings free of charge and for those enquiries that require an element of searching we have expanded our offer during lockdown from 30 minutes to a full hour for the same charge.

For lengthy enquiries we may need to charge a fee but during the lockdown we were able to extend the standard amount of free time we spent on enquiries from half to a full hour.

We have maintained our social media and website, and have been involved in a few zoom and other talks and activities. We are also in touch with potential depositors of material and can carry out digitisation orders, again, you can use our online Service to do this. In other work we continue to retro-convert old style paper catalogues and make CALM entries live to increase our current online offer.

The Historic Environment Record barely got chance to open to the public before the second lockdown but they too are answering a lot of enquiries online, and the Archaeology Field Section is allowed to continue work at archaeological sites around the county and beyond. The Hive is currently open for limited IT use of computers and a click and collect service for borrowing books.

We very much want to be able to return to a full delivery of service but we have to put the health and safety of our customers and our staff to the top of our list of priorities and follow Government guidelines.

If you have any queries, concerns or requests, please do check our website and contact our online service.

Thanks for your patience and continued support,

Adrian

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