Enquiries and Services

Tours and Group Visits

Group tours

We are happy to provide a tour of the Archives and libraries for your group or organisation.

You can either choose from our standard tour which takes in all the treasures and ‘best bits’ of the collections, or we can work with you to tailor a tour to suit your particular interests.

For booking information and charges, please contact us providing information about your group and suggested dates.

Mini-tours for conference groups

If your group or organisation are hosting a conference at the Mulberry Bush Third Space we would be delighted to offer your delegates a mini-tour during the lunch break or at the end of the day.

These tours are shorter than our standard group tours, and are designed to give a quick taste of the types of collections we hold.
To discuss how to incorporate a mini-tour into your day, please contact Debra Doggett, Senior Archivist by emailing [email protected]

Group research visits

We welcome visits from groups who would like to view a particular archive collection, or materials relating to a specific topic. Our searchroom can accommodate up to six people, or we can arrange for you to view the materials in a larger room which could accommodate up to twelve people.

To find out what dates are available please contact us.

If your group would like to volunteer your time to help us look after our collections, please visit our volunteering page for more information.

Contact Us

For enquiries about the PET Archives and Special Collections, or the National Childcare Library, please contact the Archives team:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Address: Mulberry Bush Third Space, Church Lane, Toddington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5DQ
  • Telephone: (01242) 621 200

Guide to Looking After Your Own Records

Advice on personal record keeping 

Our team of information management professionals are happy to talk to you about basic record keeping processes and correct storage for records with archival value. Below we have highlighted some of the most important things to consider when managing your own records.


When creating records  you should consider providing a good level of context for future users who may not be directly associated with the creation of the record. When writing up your records you should provide key information such as specific dates, locations, full names of individuals and organisations involved and any key information about the content of the record.

When managing records you should consider what out of your records are in active use to support the purpose of an organization or person and what records should be moved to your archive collections as they contain historical and cultural value. Records that are not selected for permanent preservation should be destroyed making sure to securely destroy any sensitive or confidential information. Consider undertaking a survey of your records to consider the above functions of your records.

When storing records you should consider both  the external and internal environment of the records. Records need to be stored in cool, dry and stable environments with a minimum exposure to light. Providing this type of environment can help to prevent damp, mould, pests and the deterioration of your records. The packing of your records is also vital to prevent damage should the external environment become subject to change. Where possible use archival quality boxes and folders and try to avoid using materials such as metals and plastics as these can damage the records over time.

Record keeping in this way will provide a greater chance that your records will be accessible in the future as well as being better prepared to be deposited with an Archives Service should that be a future consideration.

How to organise your records before deposit

The best way to ensure permanent preservation of your records into the future is to deposit them with a public archive repository.

Before depositing a collection with the PET Archives a member of our team will complete a review of your collection to help us prepare for its transfer. To help this process move quickly there are a number of steps that we recommend you take.

Select the records you want to go to the archive for permanent preservation. Consider at this stage what records have continuing value and need to be preserved and what records do not and can therefore be eliminated from the collection. This also includes removing any duplicate records from your collection.

Review any records that may contain sensitive content and flag these records for the attention of our archivists. Under current Uk data protection legislation archives are allowed to process and keep special category data and records such as personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, data concerning health and data concerning a person’s sexual orientation so don’t dispose of these records we will process them in the appropriate way.

List the records with helpful identifiers such as any previous references, date range, general contents, numbers of boxes/files and any notes on the condition of the records in order for our archivists to understand the contents, scope and condition of the collection. At this stage please keep the records in their original order as much as possible. This will help us understand the collection and archive the collection following professional standards.

Package the records in order to prepare them to be transferred to our archive. This will include securing any loose materials, repackaging the records using new covers/boxes where appropriate and where resources allow, removing any harmful materials where possible such as metals, plastic and tape, and check for any mould, damp and damage to the records making sure to discuss this with one of our archivists before transfer.

If at any point you require additional advice please get in contact and we will be happy to help.

You might also find it useful to read our advice for depositors.

Copying Services

Our copying service is managed by trained staff. Copying will be permitted subject to copyright restrictions and condition of the items. Some materials in our collection may not be suitable for scanning and we reserve the right to refuse copy requests where the process will cause damage.

Copying items for personal use

Copies for non-commercial research or private study (ie. not for use on websites, sharing online, print publications or display in commercial properties) are charged at the following rates:

  • TIF/JPG: £2 for the first image, £0.50 thereafter
  • PDF: £1 for the first page, £0.25 thereafter

If you would like to place an order, please contact us and include any archival or library references you have for the items.

Copying items for commercial use

If you would like to publish copies of items from our collections please contact us [LINK: contact us page] to discuss the options and receive a complete list of charges.

Please note, commercial use includes online activities such as posting images on social media sites and forums (ie. Facebook) or using our images on personal web pages or blogs.

It also includes traditional publishings activities such as books, pamphlets and broadcasts.

Digital Cameras in the searchroom

You are welcome to use your own digital camera when viewing items in our searchroom. We do not permit the use of hand-held scanners or pen devices because of the damage they cause to our collections. The following rates apply:

  • Day permit: £5