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 4 May

1.30-4.00

Thursday 5 May

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 10 May

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 11 May

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 18 May

1.30-4.00

Thursday 19 May

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 24 May

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 25 May

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 1 June

1.30-4.00

Thursday 2 June

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 7 June

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 8 June

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 15 June

1.30-4.00

Thursday 16 June

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 21 June

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 22 June

10.30-1.00

Wednesday 29 June

1.30-4.00

Thursday 30 June

10.30-4.00

Tuesday 5 July

10.30-4.00

Wednesday 6 July

 10.30-1.00

Wednesday 13 July

 1.30-4.00

Thursday 14 July

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 19 July

 10.30-4.00
Wednesday 20 July

 10.30-1.00
Wednesday 27 July

 1.30-4.00
Thursday 28 July

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 2 August

 10.30-4.00
Wednesday 3 August

 10.30-1.00
Wednesday 10 August

 1.30-4.00
Thursday 11 August

 10.30-4.00
Tuesday 23 August

 10.30-4.00 
Wednesday 24 August

 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