Visit the archives service
Visiting Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
The Community History and Archives Service (CHAS) collects and preserves original archives and published material relating to the history of all of Sandwell. If you are interested in finding out more about local history or tracing your family tree, CHAS holds a vast wealth of material to help you.
Our public search room is based in Smethwick Library. Don't worry if you haven't visited an archive service before - our friendly staff will help you get started.
The search room will be closed from Monday 12 December 2016, reopening Wednesday 4 January 2017. This is for the 2 week annual closed period and Christmas break. Staff will still be working behind the scenes to catalogue, index and organise more of our unlisted materials, improving access to your history once we reopen.
Staff will acknowledge enquiries received by telephone, post and email during this period, but will be unable to answer most of them until the search room reopens.
Where are we?
Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
Please note that although we are based in the same building as Smethwick Library our opening times are different.
- Monday 10am - 4pm
- Tuesday Closed
- Wednesday 10am - 4pm
- Thursday Closed
- Friday 10am - 4pm
- Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
- Sunday Closed
Tel: 0121 558 2561
Fax: 0121 555 6064
If you don't have one already, we can issue you with a free CARN reader's ticket, which is used in archive services around the country.
Please bring proof of your name, address and signature. A driving licence is ideal, but if you don't have one then we need to see something with a signature (e.g. a bank card) and an official letter sent to your home address (e.g. a utility bill).
Please be aware that we can get very busy, so we recommend that you book a place in advance.
We also need advance notice to serve some of our original records. If you would like to use original records, please contact us at least 24 hours before you come to make sure that you get the most out of your visit.
Can't visit us?
If you are unable to visit us then you can send us an enquiry by letter or email. You will receive an answer to your enquiry within ten working days. Questions about what records or information we hold will be dealt with free of charge. You can find out more about ordering copies or using our paid research service here.