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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Essex Record Office: Change of Opening Hours from 6 April 2015

News about the Essex Record Office received by the Secretary of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History today.

Essex Record Office Searchroom opening hours survey

The Essex Record Office (ERO) Searchroom is altering its opening hours from Monday 6 April 2015.

The ERO Searchroom is currently open for 49.5 hours per week, more than most other local record offices and The National Archives.

The ways that customers access the ERO Searchroom service are changing, with a clear increase in recent years in the number of customers choosing to access our services online, and a decline in the number of people using the Searchroom facilities in person. In 2002 Searchroom visits peaked with an average of 58 users per day, while in 2014 we had an average of 27 users per day. Since 2011 the number of images viewed online each year through Essex Ancestors has risen from zero to 416,000.

We are going to open the Searchroom for an average of 34.5 hours per week, as follows:

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
10.00am - 8.00pm
Wednesday and Thursday
10.00am - 5.00pm
Friday
9.00am - 4.00pm
Alternate Saturdays (with some exceptions, e.g. Easter; a list of which Saturdays we will be open will be made available on our website and in our reception area)
9.00am - 4.00pm

Reducing Searchroom opening hours will allow us to carry out essential behind-the-scenes work, such as cataloguing, conservation and digitisation, which supports public access to archives. This will be a more efficient way to run the service and represents better value for Essex taxpayers.

This will be the first time that the ERO has changed its opening hours since 2000, and we at the ERO believe we can provide a better all-round service for our customers by concentrating our opening hours, allowing staff to carry out other tasks as mentioned above.

The following services will remain unchanged:
·         Handling of research and reprographics enquires made by telephone or in writing
·         Event bookings by telephone
·         Deposit of documents
·         The ERO Archive Access Points
·         The ERO Conference Centre

If you would like to complete this survey online please go to: www.essexinsight.org.uk/consultations

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