The new Reading Room for public access to the Reference Library and Archive has been developed above the Museum’s new accessible picture store in the central dome of the Museum.  The library has a wide range of general and art reference books as well as local interest books and rare books. 

The John and Joséphine Bowes archive and the Museum’s archive that in the past have not been accessible to the public can now be consulted in the Reading Room.  There is access to the Internet and to the databases of the Museum’s collections of objects, books and archives. There are facilities for individuals and groups of learners, staff, and researchers, primarily from GCSE upwards.

The Reading Room is open to members of the public to use the Reference Library and to consult the archives, free of charge. The opening hours are on a two-week rota: Week 1 open Tuesday 10.30-4.00 and Wednesday 10.30-1.00, Week 2 open Wednesday 1.30-4.00 and Thursday 10.30-4.00. Please contact the Museum to check which week applies to your intended visit. You will be asked to complete a user application form on your first visit and to show two official forms of ID (to give one example each of your address and signature). You do not have to book a visit in advance but it is advisable to contact us to check that what you want to see is available and if the Reference Library is definitely open to the public.

Current Rota:

Date

Time

Wednesday 7 September 

1.30-4.00

Thursday 8 September

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 13 September

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 14 September

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 21 September

1.30-4.00

Thursday 22 September

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 27 September

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 28 September

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 5 October

1.30-4.00

Thursday 6 October

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 11 October

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 12 October

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 19 October

1.30-4.00

Thursday 20 October

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 25 October

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 26 October

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 2 November

1.30-4.00

Thursday 3 November

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 8 November

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 9 November

 10.30-1.00

Wednesday 16 November

 1.30-4.00

Thursday 17 November

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 22 November

 10.30-4.00
Wednesday 23 November

 10.30-1.00
Wednesday 30 November

 1.30-4.00
Thursday 1 December

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 6 December

 10.30-4.00
Wednesday 7 December

 10.30-1.00
Wednesday 14 December

 1.30-4.00
Thursday 15 December

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 20 December

 10.30-4.00 
Wednesday 21 December

 10.30-1.00



John and Joséphine Bowes' wills
Anniversary card
An architect's drawing of the Museum
Workmen on the Museum steps
The Library
View from the Library