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Visiting Sandwell Community History and Archives Service | Visit the archives service | Sandwell Council

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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.

Where are we?

Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
Smethwick Library
High Street
Smethwick
B66 1AA

Opening hours

Please note that although we are based in the same building as Smethwick Library our opening times are different.

We are delighted to announce that our searchroom is now reopen to the public.

Please email archives_service@sandwell.gov.uk or call us on 0121 569 4985 to make an appointment and for more information. 

There are a few things we need to inform you of before you can book your visit.

  • We will initially be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am.   
  • Visits will be by appointment only, the slots that can be booked for these appointments are 10am – 11.30pm, 12noon – 1.30pm and 2pm – 3.30pm.  
  • You must have either a valid CARN ticket or an Archives Card to view archive material.  You can sign up for an Archives Card, If you do this, you must bring 2 forms of ID as listed so we can issue you your card.
  • We must have at least 24 hours’ notice for each booking and bookings are limited to one per day to manage availability. Fiche, Film and Archive documents will be available to view, but they must be booked in advance and the amount of material issued for a single appointment may be restricted.  Please search our archive holdings or contact us in advance to see if we hold the material you wish to view.
  • Face coverings must be worn in the searchroom.
  • There are no toilets available.
  • If you wish to view Local Studies stock, this too must be requested in advance.  You can search for titles on our online catalogue.

Contact details

Email: archives_service@sandwell.gov.uk
Tel: 0121 569 4985

Reader's tickets

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).

Advance booking

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.

Pages in "Visit the archives service"

  1. You are here Visiting Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
  2. How to find us
  3. Public access computers
  4. Disabled customers
  5. Refreshments and toilets
  6. Copying facilities
  7. Archives service charges