Access to archive material at IALS can be provided by prior appointment only. To make arrangements, please first explore the relevant catalogues (see IALS Archives Collections) and identify the material (including reference codes), then contact IALS Archives with your request.
Most records are open for consultation but there are some access restrictions as specified by depositors. Access restriction information is available in the catalogues.
Archive researchers will be asked to sign our Research Access registration form and adhere to our Regulations for use of the Archives.
Digital photographs may be taken of most material for research purposes only, subject to signing the Copyright Declaration - self service photography. It may be possible for material to be photocopied, by agreement with the Archivist, in which case a Copyright Declaration – request for copies form should be signed.
As the archives is staffed on a part-time basis only a limited amount of research (no more than 2 hours) can be carried out on behalf of enquirers. Please always examine the catalogues first to identify relevant areas and provide as much information as possible in your enquiry.
Our limited resources mean that lengthy genealogical enquiries in particular cannot be undertaken; we ask that enquirers refer to The National Archives’ list of private researchers who specialise in genealogy and employ someone from the list to undertake the work on their behalf. For the same reason we are also unable to undertake large amounts of copying (photocopying, scanning or digital photography) on behalf of remote researchers. Again, we ask that a private researcher is employed to undertake copying of more than 10 pages.
If you are researching an individual, you may find it useful to consult ‘Archival Sources for Legal Biography at IALS’ by Elizabeth Dawson, which outlines archival sources for legal biography held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, focussing on primary sources of information on individuals, including the Law Society and Bar Examination results. The article also summarises additional sources which provide biographical information on legal practitioners and scholars eg. the archives of The Society of Legal Scholars and the Council of Legal Education, IALS institutional archives, The Bar Council, The International Law Association and academic membership associations. The article also provides guidance to researchers on using the IALS Archive, and advice on using related external archival sources.
The full article is available here.