The University of Bristol Theatre Collection is reopening to researchers and we are excited to welcome you back to our reading room! Please see below for details about making an appointment, registering as a researcher, what to expect on your visit and more.
In order to reopen our reading room safely we have worked closely with colleagues in Safety and Health and with colleagues across the museums, archives and libraries sector to ensure we are meeting our governmental, institutional and sector standards. The Theatre Collection remains open to all. However, to keep all our visitors and staff safe we have made some changes to our services and facilities and are now operating an appointment only service within reduced hours.
The reading room and exhibition area will be open by advanced booking only.
New opening hours:
Tuesday: 10.00-12.30 and 1.30-4.00
Wednesday: 10.00-12.30 and 1.30-4.00
Thursday: 10.00-12.30 and 1.30-4.00
Our opening hours are subject to change in line with government safety advice and in line with procedures set by the University of Bristol.
For all enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. We can assist you remotely with copying and basic research enquiries, subject to copyright, permissions and staff availability. If you would prefer to visit the Theatre Collection to undertake more extensive research, please let us know and we can help you to book an appointment, confirm dates and times and take request to view materials, including books from our reference library. Unfortunately, due to space restrictions and social distancing, it is not possible to browse our library, but all our books are listed on the University of Library catalogue at https://www.bristol.ac.uk/library/
Please note the reading room will be open by advanced booking only.
Due to space restrictions we are only able to welcome two readers into our reading room at one time and unfortunately may not always be able to fulfil your request. We would recommend that you contact us to check booking availability before making travel arrangements and that you contact us at least seven days before you intend to visit.
Due to staffing limitations we require all appointments and requests for materials to be registered with a member of staff by Thursday 5pm for the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday sessions of the following week. We regret that any requests made after this time cannot be fulfilled. If requested items are held at our off-site store, please note that it may take longer for them to be retrieved. Staff will be able to advise on how long retrievals will take when making your booking
If you would like to visit out exhibition, either by yourself, or with a group forming no more than six people, please email email@example.com to make an appointment. Please note that all visits to the exhibition are by appointment only.
Entrance to the Theatre Collection is free, although we do welcome donations
Please see the dropdown bars below to access further information.
Making an enquiry
If you have an enquiry about our holdings, an initial search of our online catalogue prior to contacting us is recommended. Please note that not all our collections are catalogued so after searching online, if you are unable to find what you are looking for or have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to advise you regarding any relevant uncatalogued items.
Planning your visit
Due to staffing limitations and Health and Safety regulations we are only able to welcome two readers to our reading room per session (morning, afternoon, all day). The reading room will be open by advanced booking only.
Pleaseemail email@example.com to start the process of making an appointment to visit us.
All appointments and retrievals, including library books must be requested by Thursday 5pm for the following week.
When an appointment has been made you will receive a link to an online researcher registration form to complete before your visit. This form will record your name, address and information about your research and visit. On the form you will be asked to read and agree to comply with the University of Bristol Theatre Collection Guidelines and Covid-19 Safety Rules. We will store this data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and kept for a minimum of 7 years.
Test & Trace:
On arrival for your appointment you will be required to scan the NHS Test and Trace QR code or complete a quick form containing your name and contact details for the NHS Test & Trace service. To support this service, we will hold this information for 21 days after which it will be deleted. Full information about the Test & Trace system is available on the government website
Please note that it is possible to access materials without visiting us on site using our remote research service. This service is provided free of charge for up to half an hour. Additional time spent on an enquiry will be charged at £12.50 per half hour. Please email us with full details of your enquiry so that we can advise on potential costs.
Further information about non-commericial and commercial image requests can be found here
What to expect on your visit to our reading room or exhibition
To attend your appointment please come to our main entrance at 21 Park Row, Bristol, BS1 5LT. To enter the building please press the buzzer to the right of the door, stating your name and your appointment details. When the doors open, we ask that all researchers wait in our main lobby for a member of staff to come and welcome you.
If you are delayed for your appointment, please let us know by email or phone
The latest government guidance requires masks to be worn at all times inside libraries, museums and public reading rooms. However, we understand that some researchers may not be able to wear a face covering due to disability, religious or other personal circumstances. Please check the government website (section 3) for further information including downloadable exemption cards.
Please ensure you bring your own face covering on the day.
When you are greeted by a member of staff, who will also be on hand at all times during your visit, please maintain a two-metre distance. We ask that if you come into contact with another reader or member of staff you continue to observe this rule.
The member of staff will bring you from the main lobby up into our reading room where you will be asked to wash your hands and place your belongings such as coats and bags under the table you have been assigned. Hand sanitiser stations will be available at the entrance and exit to the building in addition to the handwashing facilities. All tables will be cleaned before your visit, again during the closure hour for lunch and again at the end of the day. Any archive and library materials will be quarantined for 72 hours after use and prior to being produced for a researcher.
Our member of staff on reading room duty will remind you of the reading room guidelines and Covid-19 safety rules on arrival, as well as answer any questions you may have.
We regret that, due to quarantine procedures, additional materials and books cannot be requested during your research visit.
What to bring with you
Due to the current restrictions we ask that all visitors bring with them
- Mask or face covering (unless you are exempt)
- Paper or digital device for taking notes. We will provide all researchers with a pencil on arrival.
- Digital device with camera for taking copies of documents for personal research (you will also be required to complete a copyright declaration form)
- Water bottle
- Warm layers
Due to Covid-19 restrictions it will not be possible to use our scanners or for staff to make any copies/scans of material during your visit. We allow photography in our reading room for making copies of documents for personal research only. Information of taking copies is available here
We ask that researchers bring warm layers. We are required to keep the windows open to allow for proper air circulation which can leave the reading room feeling cool.
We do not allow food or drink in the reading room. If you bring water with you, you will be asked to step outside the reading room area to drink it. There are no food or drink facilities on site, but there are cafes and sandwich shops on Park Row.
Frequently asked questions
To access answers to our FAQs please click here
How to find us
Our publicly accessible entrance is located on Park Row:
University of Bristol Theatre Collection
Faculty of Arts
21 Park Row
Opposite the Trenchard Street multi-storey car park
Our entrance is clearly signed, with blue railings outside. Please ring the buzzer for entry (the doors are automatic, so please do not push).
Find out how to get to the University.
The University of Bristol encourages all visitors to travel by a sustainable mode of transport when attending meetings or conferences.
Looking to stay overnight? Read more about where to stay.