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Search Room

We are delighted to welcome you to the HES Archive and Library. We are providing a Covid-compliant service for visitors who need access to original material for their research. 

  • Our opening hours are 10am until 4pm, Tuesday to Friday. We are closed Friday 3 June 2022 for Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
  • Visitors must pre-book their visit five working days in advance.
  • All the material you want to research, including books and photographs, must be requested in advance, you can order up to 10 items.
  • Pre-booking via our Search Room booking form is essential. Please do not travel if you have not made an appointment.


HES Archives Coronavirus Visitor Charter

Before your visit, please read and agree to our Coronavirus Visitor Charter to do your bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety.

As a visitor to HES Search Room, we ask you to:

· pre-book your visit at least five working days in advance

· only travel to John Sinclair House after receiving confirmation of your booking

· request the material you want to consult in advance, including any material normally on open access, such as books.

· delay your visit if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms

· respect the Government guidance on physical distancing and hygiene, including wearing a face covering unless you have a legitimate reason not to do so

· observe the safety measures that we have put in place

· be patient and polite with our staff while you visit, and understand our services are limited at this time

· notify us in advance, where possible, if you are delayed or unable to visit


Find out more about what to expect on your visit. Still have questions? Take a look at our FAQs


Availability of Material 

As part of our ongoing digitisation programme, some material may be briefly unavailable in our Search Room. From October 2021 - March 2022 some of the green boxes may be unavailable. For more information on how we are increasing our volume of digital material and making more available online, visit our page.



Archives - these can be identified by searching Canmore

Library - the library catalogue is available here

Green Boxes – a list of the Archaeology Green Boxes, and the Architecture Green Boxes is available to aid identification of the boxes you might require on a visit

DP 231455


Digitisation and Copying Services

We provide a range of copying facilities in the Search Room and permit self-copying (cameras or phones) of certain material. We can also offer high quality professional digitisation and printing.



John Sinclair House, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX. The Search Room is on the first floor and is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Bernard Terrace is located off South Clerk Street in Newington, Edinburgh and is served by a number of buses. Limited car parking is available for visitors to the rear of the building.


DP 093682

Help Topics

Help is available on the following items. Please click on the relevant link below to read more. If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us.