Research at HALS

Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies is a joint service combining the county record office and county local studies library.   Access to these research resources is free of charge.

In the archives, we have over 3 million archives which span Hertfordshire’s history from 1060 to the present.  These documents are held in three stores – one beneath Reading Room itself and two others which are offsite but with the County Hall complex.   While we have half-hourly productions of documents from the onsite store, there are only two productions a day from the off site stores.  So, in order to make the most of your research time, you may like to order documents in advance.  You can do this by phone, email or via our website.  You can start your research here with our online index and catalogue.

County Archive Readers Network (CARN) Card

You will need to register for a CARN card in order to use the reading room.  This is free and can be used in other archives who are members of this scheme, but you will need to bring proof of identity to obtain your card. If you forget your ID, it is possibly to have a temporary one day card issued.


If you are taking images for private research only, you can purchase a photography day permit for £10, a combined photography and download permit for £15 or an annual one for £100.  If you wish to reproduce material in a publication or online, you will need to seek permission from HALS and additional charges are likely to also apply.

Local Studies Library

Here you will find thousands of books, maps, photos and newspapers.  There’s also free wifi, plus public pcs, which can be accessed by Herts Library card holders.  These give free access to genealogy sites Find My Past and Ancestry.



Register Office Block, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EJ.
Tel: 0300 123 4049 (ask for HALS)

Parking is limited, so where possible car-sharing or use of public transport is advise.

Opening Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 09.00 – 17.00 (until 19.30 first Tuesday of the month by appointment)
Wednesday: 09.00 – 17.00
Thursday: 09.00 – 17.00
Friday: 09.00 – 12.30
Saturday: 10.00 – 14.00 (first and third Saturdays of the month)
Sunday: Closed

*requests for access on Tuesday evening must be made by 9am on the previous Friday

Starting Your Research at HALS

Just starting out?  Not sure what there might be about your town or village at HALS?

We hold regular introductions to using our resources.  While this session is free, you will need to book in advance.

Research Service

If you can’t come to HALS, there is a remote research service, which is charged at £15 per 30 minutes (60 minutes maximum in any one transaction).  This does not include copies, but a quote for these is included.

This page was added on 30/05/2016.

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