You are very welcome to visit our record offices to do research for your dissertation. You can get advice on source materials in advance of your visit by emailing us. Although we turn correspondence around as quickly as possible, you should allow five working days for a reply.
Please be aware that the breadth and depth of sources available for topics varies enormously, so you may find that the sources are simply not available locally for the specific subject that you have in mind. You will need to factor in time to revise your subject and locate relevant source materials.
The Archive Research Techniques and Skills website, created with undergraduates in mind, provides a lot of useful advice on (a) planning a visit to a record office, and (b) the skills needed for the research process itself. This excellent site will supplement any advice that your course tutor may already have given you.
You will also need to make a booking before visiting us, and bring proof of your identity and address when you visit us for the first time. Please look at the Planning a Visit section of this website to find the addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and opening hours for our offices, as well as acceptable proofs of identity and address.
When you visit us you will be shown how to use our catalogues and indexes, and you will find an archivist on duty who will be pleased to give you advice.
The Archive Service works with both Keele University and Staffordshire University to provide placements for undergraduate students. Different schemes are offered by both universities, so if you are interested please speak to your course tutor to find out whether a placement is an option on your course.