The Portsmouth History Centre is on the second floor of Portsmouth Central Library and comprises:
- City Records Office Archive
- Library resources on family, local and naval history
- Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens collections
In line with government guidelines we have reorganised the services we offer. This is in order to keep our users and staff safe.
To allow social distancing – we have reduced the number of tables, and only one computer and one microfilm reader is now available. We strongly advise you to contact us by phone or email before you visit, so you can book one of the following:
- a table
- the computer
- the microfilm reader
Booking times for a table or microfilm reader are:
- 9.30am – 12.30pm
- 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Booking times for the computer are:
- 9.30am – 10.45am
- 11.15am – 12.30pm
- 1.30pm – 2.45pm
- 3.15pm – 4.30pm
Appointment slots are for individual users only. We cannot accommodate groups of 2 or more people. We will only be able to accommodate users who have not booked in advance if space is available.
Before You Visit
Before you visit, please let us know what you are hoping to find out and what records you would like to see, so that we can have these ready for you when you arrive and make sure that they are not quarantined when you visit. You can order up to 10 documents or 6 Kelly’s directories in advance.
Please give us as much notice as you can – no less than 3 working days – before you intend to visit.
Some documents are stored off-site, and it will take longer to produce these than documents stored at the Central Library.
We will be able to advise you where items are stored, and how long it is likely to take to have them ready for you.
Please note – we may not be able to produce additional records for you during your visit.
You will need to show us a Portsmouth History Centre user card or proof of your name and address (such as a driving licence or utility bill) when you enter the History Centre.
When you arrive at Portsmouth History Centre
Please arrive shortly before the time you have booked.
You will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of your visit unless exempt. Social distancing and hygiene measures are in place.
These include a queuing system outside the Central Library, and if necessary outside Portsmouth History Centre.
You will be assigned a table, a microfilm reader or a computer when you book. Please bring your own pencil and notebook. We do not allow users to bring bags or coats into the History Centre – these should be left in a locker outside the History Centre.
Please follow all the requests by staff members as they are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.