Welcome Back. We Missed You.

We are pleased to announce that the Society of Genealogists’ Library is opening to SoG members only on Tuesday 4th August with staggered sessions opening from 11am-4pm and 11.30-4pm

To begin with the number of members in the Library will be limited to a maximum of 20 persons per day and places must be booked in advance prior to visiting. Booking for sessions can be made on our website here

For the time being, it is intended that the Society will open for Library use each Tuesday and one Saturday a month. Back office project volunteers only will be welcome in the Library on Mondays. We hope to work up to opening for more days and to more people as we become more confident of providing a safe and workable experience for staff, volunteers and members and as resources allow.

During the days when the Society's library is closed to visitors our staff and volunteers will continue the service provisions offered during lockdown. Please see the website for details

Visits must be booked at least a week in advance and will be made available up two weeks before the date of the visit on a rolling weekly basis every Saturday morning. Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis – you will not be able to bring anyone with you, unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book – we may cancel your booking if you exceed our reasonable limit of one booking per week.

We will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked a visit, so please do not travel if you have not been able to book as we will not be able to let you in.

When members come into the Library, they will notice some changes. The Society has introduced safety and social hygiene measures to ensure the safety of our staff, members and friends. The toilets and cloakroom will be open so you can wash your hands and all hygiene guidance will be adhered to. Lockers will be open for you to store your belongings and take as little into the library as possible. There will be a cleaner in the building when we are open to make sure all surfaces stay clean and safe. We would ask every visitor to use the sanitisers and wipes provided around the building and to follow social distancing measures and one-way procedures as indicated by signs around the building.

Computers and Microfiche /Microfilm readers have been spaced around the building rather than just in the lower library. You can reserve a computer or reader at the same time as you reserve your seat

Films and fiche will be available as normal and we would ask that all books, microforms, CDs etc be returned to the returns trolleys and boxes  provided after use so they can be cleaned and or quarantined as appropriate

Our maintenance team is erecting safety screens at reception and enquiry desks. We have marked out the common room safely, but we may have to ask people not to rush in all at once. Unfortunately, we won’t be making the fridge, microwave, vending machine, cups or kettles available so remember to bring a flask or water with you. (But still only in the common room!) The delis and sandwich bars in Goswell Road are open.

The current Government guidelines (updated 30 March 2021)  make it clear that mask must be worn in indoor office/library settings. Our staff will be wearing masks for your protection and you are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it.

We will ask everyone booking a visit to agree to a new Society of Genealogists’ visitor guidelines below, aimed at encouraging all visitors to do their bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety.


Coronavirus Visitor Guidelines


With special measures in place for the foreseeable future, we would ask everyone planning a visit to Society of Genealogists’ Library to help us ensure everyone’s safety by committing to our new visitor guidelines

As a visitor to The Society of Genealogists you agree to:

  • Pre-book your visit at least a week in advance, and not travel to our building without having received confirmation of your booking
  • Book a maximum of one visit in a week, to allow other researchers the opportunity to book
  • There will be two staggered session 11am-4pm and 11.30am-4pm. We would ask those booked on the later session NOT to arrive early to ensure safe entry for the earlier session
  • Please show membership card to reception as you arrive so your visit can be recorded as per the requirements for notifying the NHS Test and Trace Service  - see below
  • Delay your visit if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow the government guidance on travelling, especially if using public transport
  • Observe the safety measures that we have put in place
  • Practice social distancing while on site and in our building
  • Wash your hands before and after visiting our Library reading rooms, and regularly throughout your visit
  • Use the wipes and sanitisers provided to wipe down computer keyboards and other equipment before and after use
  • Wear face coverings in the shop and reception areas and within the library.
  • Be patient and polite with our staff and volunteers while you visit
  • Notify us in advance, where possible, if you are delayed or unable to visit
  • Accept that our services on site are limited
  • Acknowledge that we may ask non-compliant visitors to leave
  • Accept that The Society of Genealogists has taken every reasonable step to create a COVID-19 secure building, and that we rely on the co-operation of visitors to follow the measures we have put in place to protect everyone’s safety.


We will review these arrangements regularly to ensure that they continue to meet government guidance.


Please note that in order to help contain clusters or outbreaks of coronavirus, The Society of Genealogists will keep a secure temporary record of your visit for 21 days, after which it will be destroyed. During this time your information may be shared with the NHS test and trace service if necessary.


Thank you for your continued support, we look forward to seeing you soon

Ammended 14 April 2021

Else Churchill


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