Access to the Archives

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 formand 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 is available here.

Contact Details
IALS Archivist - Clare Cowling

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square

Phone number: + 020 7862 5824
Page last updated: 10th June 2020