Accessing our records

Opening hours

Monday – Tuesday 10am- 4pm (closed on public holidays)

From January 2022, the Archive Reading Room will be open by prior arrangement to RHN staff members only.

The Archive is planning to open to external researchers later in the year once the Hospital allows visitors back on site. Until then the Archive will be provide a limited enquiry and reprographic service for external researchers.

If you have an enquiry about visiting the archives then we aim to answer your question within 2 working days. For other enquiries requiring research of our collections or obtaining copies of documents, this will take longer: we aim to answer these enquiries within 10 working days.


All researchers, internal and external, are required to register before being granted access to the Archive collection.

New researchers are required to fill in a reader registration form and on arrival to the Archives supply one form of identification. For staff, all that is required is to show their staff pass whilst for external researchers they should bring with them one form of photographic ID (e.g. passport, driving license) and one form of proof of address (e.g. utility bill).


Visiting us

All visitors are required to make an appointment before visiting the service. Visitors will need to provide details of the archive reference numbers of the items that they wish to see from the records of the online catalogue.

Due to the limited staff availability, all visiting researchers should allow 5 working days for document retrieval.

For details of how to find where the hospital is located and the best transportation routes in getting here, please visit:

On the day of your appointment, please make your way to the Hospital reception first to sign in and a member of staff will come and meet you and take you to the Archive Reading Room based in East Lodge.

For readers with disabilities, the building which houses the Archive Reading Room does not provide wheelchair access or disabled restrooms. However, with advance notice, the Archivist will be able to book a private study area in the main hospital which can be used as an alternative space.

Appointments can be made by contacting the Archivist by email ( or on the telephone (020 8780 4500 ext Ext 5030).


Reading room rules

  1. Appointments to consult all archive material should be arranged in advance.
  2. All applications to have access to the holdings of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability must be made on the forms provided and be signed by the applicant.
  3. Readers are responsible for all items issued to them. Papers and other materials must be handled with the utmost care. Papers must be kept in their correct order and must not be removed from their folders.
  4. Readers may take notes using pencils, lap top computers or mobile devices. The use of any kind of ink pen is forbidden.
  5. On completion of work for the day readers may be required to make their working notes available for a brief security check.
  6. Readers may not eat, drink or smoke in the Reading Room.
  7. Mobile phones must be silent or switched off in the Reading Room.
  8. Copies of papers and digitised images may be provided for registered readers, and digital photography allowed, at the discretion of Archives Services staff on completion of a copyright declaration form. Papers will be stamped on every page “Supplied for research only. No documents or images may be reproduced or published without prior permission”.


Publishing from our collection

If you wish to reproduce material from the archives in publication, you must obtain permission from us. A publication may be any of the following:

  • a printed publication, such as a book, journal article or exhibition catalogue
  • a doctoral thesis
  • a film, video or television broadcast
  • a digital publication, such as a website or other digital resource
  • public display in any form of digital or hard copy (except for a single copy for use in an academic lecture, conference or seminar)
  • use of an image in any form of merchandise


Obtaining copies

All photocopying and scanning of material from our Archives is undertaken by staff. We can provide:


30p per A4 sheet, 40p per A3 sheet.


£3 per for the first scan; £1 for each additional page/item

Scans will transferred via the Hospital’s cloud storage software, OwnCloud.

Not all of our collections are suitable for all types of copying; in particular we cannot photocopy the following:


Fragile items or materials that may be damaged by the copying process

Maps, plans or any single item larger than A3

Wherever possible we will offer an alternative (for example we can scan items that cannot be photocopied safely), but we reserve the right to refuse to copy items where the copying process will cause damage. Furthermore, copying orders can only be processed if they are in accordance with current UK copyright law. Copyright in photographs and other artistic works is particularly stringent; it is illegal for us to copy images without the copyright holder’s permission.

Digital Cameras

We welcome researchers to use their own digital cameras. There is no charge, but you will be asked to fill in a permissions form outlining the copyright rules and asking for reference numbers of the items you are photographing.

Placing Remote Reprographics Orders

We offer a full reprographics service for readers unable to visit the Institute in person. You will need to request and print out one of our Application forms (“Application for non-commercial purposes” for copies to be used for research or study; “Application to make commercial use of materials” if you require copies to publish) and state the precise references for and nature of the copies you would like. We are happy to provide an estimate of the fees that will be incurred in advance of fulfilling your request. Please contact us with the item reference and description of the material and we will respond with the quote.


Contact us

For any enquiries about our service please contact the Archivist by email ( ) or on the telephone (020 8780 4500 ext Ext 5030).

For general information and updates on the service please follow the Archives on Twitter.