Visiting the Archive Centre

letter with Chapel in the background
letter with Chapel in the background


Due to King's College being closed to visitors, the Archive Centre is now closed to readers until further notice.

We will probably be closed to readers through mid-June at least; there are no firm plans as yet for when we will reopen. This webpage will be updated as information becomes available.

Archivists will respond to requests submitted by email. Our reprographics service is available, please see the link below for costs.

[last updated 16 April 2021]

Please note that the Archive Centre is not open on Fridays.

Most of the Centre's catalogued collections are available by appointment for consultation by scholars, free of charge, Monday to Thursday, 9.30 am – 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm – 5.15 pm. Note that the Centre is closed for a few weeks each year, as per the table below. Documents will normally be produced within ten minutes of being requested.

Among the personal papers restrictions are in force for a small quantity of personal letters of persons still living, which may only be read with the permission of the author, and for other sensitive material, closed temporarily as a condition of bequest or in deference to the interests of concerned third parties. In addition, periods of closure are imposed on recent College records.

Intending readers must make an appointment with the Archivist before visiting King's and should bring with them two forms of photographic identification and a letter of introduction.


Reading room tables are fitted with power points for laptop computers which readers are welcome to bring with them, provided their use does not disturb other readers. Pencils only may be used for writing by hand. A complete list of reading room regulations is available in the reading room. Wi-Fi is available for Eduroam users.

The ArchiveSearch catalogue is accessible from a terminal in the reading room. Naturally, good old-fashioned hard-copy catalogues of all the College and Modern archives are available in the reading room. The archivists are happy to advise researchers on their contents, and to try to help identify materials that will be of interest to researchers.

ArchiveSearch replaces the Janus on-line catalogue, which was decommissioned from 1 March 2021. Please see 'Links' below for the complete catalogue of the Archive Centre's holdings.

Disabled access

There is a lift in the building, which is accessed by telling the person who responds to the buzzer that you require it. If you have questions or concerns about your ability to access our material please let us know, we may be able to help.


Reader photography is allowed under certain conditions. If you wish to order copies or take photographs, please see the relevant links below, as well as the link to information about copyright.

Closure Dates

  2021 2022
Re-open after Christmas see above 17 January
Closed for Easter Monday see above 18 April
Closed for Bank Holiday see above 2 May
Closure begins (for student exams) see above 9 May
Re-open (after student exams) 21 June, subject to government coronavirus advice* 20 June*
Closed for Bank Holiday 30 August 29 August
Closed for Christmas 20 December 19 December (re-open 16/1/23)

* NOTE: Preparations for the students' graduation event occur this week and may cause noise disturbance in the reading room.

All dates and times of opening may be subject to revision without notice, though major change is unlikely.

Getting to the Archive Centre

For directions to King's College, see the Getting to King's link below. For directions within the College, see the map below.

There is wheelchair access and a toilet for the disabled at King's College Library. Please let us know if you need disabled access instructions, when you book your appointment.

Some recent College archives - such as legal or personal files - may have access restrictions of up to 100 years.
Copies of documents held in the Archive Centre are provided at the discretion of the Archivist and are subject to UK Copyright law.
Photographs are allowed only when they are in compliance with UK copyright legislation.
The majority of our holdings are still in copyright under British copyright law.