Local Studies and Archives

Reopening of Local Studies and Archives FAQ



Frequently asked questions about the reopening of Local Studies & Archives at the Ewart, Dumfries.


To assist you in accessing our collections, we have answered some frequently asked questions


It is free to visit us but all places must be booked prior to your visit. We are not yet open for 'walk-in' visitors.



Booking a session.


How can I book a place?


Please telephone 01387 260285, between 12noon and 4pm, from Monday 7th June.


A member of team will record your:


  • Name
  • contact telephone number & email
  • which resources you would like to access to during your visit
  • book you an appointment time to visit


Or please email us on lib.archive@dumgal.gov.uk and provide the following information, a member of the team will be in touch to confirm an appointment.


  • Name
  • contact telephone number & email
  • which resources you would like to access to during your visit


Sessions are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
From 7 June May 2021, visitors can book one or both sessions per day. Bookings are not transferable. Visitors who cannot attend a booking will need to re-book a subsequent session.
Pre booking will allow us to manage our restricted capacity and to collect details of visitors attending each session for contact tracing if required. We are doing this in line with government guidance, as we want to do everything, we can to protect our staff, visitors and the wider community.
A booked session allows up to two hours access to pre-requested collection material. Access is limited to 4 visitors per session, and there are two sessions per day, Mondays and Friday.
The session times are:

Monday and Friday
Morning session: 10.00am to 12noon
Afternoon session: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
By holding two sessions each day, we can ensure that more people have the opportunity to use our collections and conduct a full clean of the Local Studies and Archives room between each session.
Can I bring a partner/relative/carer along to my booking?
Yes, however you must tell us at time of booking as there is a limit to the number of people in the Local Studies and Archives Department at a time. Physical distancing rules will still apply.
Can I book more than one session a week?
Demand will be high and initially customers are limited to booking 2 sessions max at a time.  We need to ensure that everyone has an opportunity of visiting to see the items they need.
Can I book two sessions and stay all day?
Customers can book one or both sessions per day, but the department is closed to the public between 12.00noon and 2.00pm. This allows extra cleaning at lunchtime to sanitise the public areas before new visitors arrive for the afternoon session.
Can I book to use a computer, fiche or film reader without having booked to see any original documents?
Yes, that is fine.
What to expect during your pre-booked visit
What services will be available?

When you arrive for your session, you will be able to access:


  • An allocated desk.
  • Your requested collection material.
  • Our free Wi-Fi to use on your own device


You will need to bring your own pencil, notepaper, laptop and camera/phone.
We are able to provide pre-booked access to microfilm and fiche readers and public library computers for local studies and archives research only.
Use of the open access reference material will not be permitted.  Only pre-requested items can be accessed.
What collections are accessible?
Subject to normal access restrictions or conservation requirements, all of our collections are available for request.
Can I copy documents?
Chargeable photocopying facilities will not be available.

Can I place collections on hold for another visit?
Yes. The documents will be kept in quarantine between your visits and then for a further 72 hours after your final visit.
Health and safety of visitors and staff

What safety and hygiene measures are in place?
The health and safety of our customers and staff is always our top priority and we will be fully complying with health & safety guidelines to protect everyone who visits.
In line with government advice, face coverings must be worn by visitors throughout your visit, unless you are exempt.
Hand hygiene facilities will be available in the foyer and in other key locations.
Toilets will be well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. We will ask you to either wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser & then gloves before being seated as this is better for the documents.
All hard surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned between each session.
Physical distancing measures will be implemented, with queuing systems in place and signage clearly displayed.
All visitors will be allocated seating that is 2 metres from each other.
Readers are requested to limit their movement around the room.
Collection returns will be quarantined for 72 hours before being made available to request again by another reader.


Archive Catalogue



Click here to search the Archives Cataogue


The Online Archive Catalogue provides details of all records currently available through the archive service.


View Dumfries and Galloway



Welcome to the new Dumfries and Galloway Libraries online photographic collection. Currently there are over 15,000 images in the collection in many different formats, for example, postcards, glass negatives, engravings, lantern slides and photographs.


There are many tens of thousands more held in special collections. These images will be added to the online site as time allows. It is, however, still a work in progress and we would be delighted to hear from anyone with information and/or images.


Please Contact Us if you would like to help. Details of print sizes available and prices can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

Need help with your research?


Need help with your research?


Our qualified and experienced staff can help you with family or other research work using our resources. To receive a no obligation assessment of what research could be undertaken using our Archive Sources and a quote for this work call 01387 260285 or email researcher@dumgal.gov.uk. Prices are available on request.  If your enquiry is of a simpler nature please call 01387 260285 or email libarchive@dumgal.gov.uk for assistance.


For Information on the resources held by Dumfries and Galloway Archives please consult the Archives Catalogue on this page.




If you require copies of the statutory records of Births, Deaths and Marriages from 1855 onwards and more recently Civil Partnerships, they are available from the Registrars, either at Buccleuch street, DG1 2AD or at D & G Customer Services, Stranraer, DG9 7LD, alternatively you can email RegistrarsAllUsers@dumgal.gov.uk .  There is a fee for Registrars' services.  The National Index of these records for all of Scotland is also available from the Registrars.  Assisted research with the Registrar is currently unavailable, but will be announced here when the service resumes.