Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Dumfries archive's new home in the Ewart Library - user guide.

I was in Dumfries on Friday, using the new archive section of the Ewart Library. It's looking very nice!

As you can see from the photo above they were still setting up on Friday but it's all starting to come together. There is now a door dividing the archive and local studies area from the lending section of the library and within this section there is another room for consulting documents. This creates a very quiet area to concentrate but still close to the reference material on the open shelf. All in all it seems to be a very well designed space.

Ordering documents

It is obvious however that this is the best of a bad situation and not the ideal you (or they) would wish for. Before the move you consulted some material at the Ewart and some at the Archive Centre across town so having just one search room is easier. On-site storage is now very limited, however, as a lot of their holdings are now stored off-site. The recent move means that checking that the documents you wish to consult will be available on the day of your visit is vital, as the catalogue is not clear as to where the documents are stored. Our advice: always contact the archive first to make sure the documents will be available for consultation. They try to get them in very quickly but it is best to give them a few days notice if you possibly can.


Parking is free for two hours on the street outside and I found there were a number of spaces near the door. Dumfries operates a parking disc system: if you don't have one you can get one form the library staff (they are free). There are also a number of disabled spaces outside the library. Being within easy walking distance form the train station too adds to the ease of access of this archive.


As with most forward-thinking archives in the UK, photography is allowed for your own personal use. There are restrictions on some items though so always ask for permission first. 


If you need some research, but it's too far away for you to visit yourself get in touch with us and we can arrange to carry out the research for you: info@maxwellancestry.com 

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