Location and opening hours
The Historic Collections Team is based at the Old Palace in Dean's Park, behind York Minster. You can find us here: (Google Maps link).
The Old Palace is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Please be aware that the Old Palace will be closed for Easter from Friday 30th March - Monday 2nd April. We will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 3rd April.
You are welcome to use the Reading Room to consult the Library reference collections and do not need to make an appointment to do this. When you arrive at the Old Palace we will ask you to sign in and place coats, bags, food and drink into the free lockers. This helps us to care for the amazing collections housed here and keep them safe for the future.
Booking your appointment
Some of the collections are viewable by appointment only. A minimum of 24 hours notice is required, but appointments can be arranged well in advance. You will need to book an appointment if you wish to view any of the following
- Library items described as Special Collections on the library catalogue. Appointments can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- All records and manuscripts (York Minster Archives) and objects. Appointments can be made by contacting email@example.com
Please be aware that appointments can run from 9.30am onwards and charges may be applicable. For more detail see: Historic Collections Charges (PDF) or talk to the team.
During your appointment
At the beginning of your appointment you will need to register as a collections reader. To register you will need to provide ID (photo and address) and fill in a short form which details the regulations associated with using the collection. All registration information is stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
For more details see: Collections Reader Registration and Object Handling - information for users (PDF) or contact the team.
Collections material cannot be photocopied, but you are welcome to photograph objects during your appointment. For more details see Imaging.
Many of the items you will use are unique and irreplaceable, so to help us keep the collections secure and preserve them for the future we ask you to observe some basic guidelines during appointments:
- Please use pencil or a laptop to take notes and do not mark the collections in any way.
- The Reading Room is a coats, bags, laptop cases and briefcases free zone. There are free lockers and clear plastic bags at Reception to help you store your belongings.
- No food or drink is to be bought into the Reading Room. This includes bottled water, gum, throat lozenges and cough sweets.
- Please ensure your hands are clean and that you have not recently applied hand cream.
- When using old or fragile items book rests must be used and weights will be provided to support pages. A member of the team will set this up at the beginning of your appointment.
A member of staff will always be on hand during your appointment to offer advice on how to use the collections and the services we can offer.