Visiting the DRA during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Our Library is currently open by appointment only. To book your visit please call 01548 830832.  

To minimise the risks posed to our community by the spread of the virus, we have made some changes to the ways in which we operate so that we can continue to welcome visitors during this difficult time.

This document explains what our new operating procedures will mean for those planning to use the Archive for private browsing and independent study and how they need to behave whilst in our Covid19 secure premises.

The information within this guide is in line with the latest guidance supplied by the UK Government, Public Health England and sector specific organisations, and will be reviewed as and when new information is released.

All members of our community must:
• observe social distancing rules at all times whilst in the Archive by staying two metres away from other people, or at least one metre where that is not possible;
• wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required;
• wash their hands regularly;
• comply with all instructions from staff and with any signs on display;
• not visit the Archive if
o feeling unwell
o having been in contact with someone who is unwell
o living in a local lockdown area
o awaiting the outcome of a Covid19 test; or an approach from NHS: Test and Trace;

Please note that we reserve the right to deny access to the Archive to any individuals who are not willing to abide by the guidelines set out in our policy documents.

1. Book an appointment
Access is by appointment only, and all visitors will need to book an appointment at least one week in advance. This is necessary to limit the number of people in the Archive at any one time for everyone’s safety and to enable us to plan our week accordingly.

If you would like to book time in our library, subject to availability, please call 01548 830832. When you book we will discuss your research interests with you over the telephone so that we may advise you of the resources that we can offer, and select suitable items from the collection ahead of your arrival. For this reason, we are unable to accept bookings by email.

Guests will be able to undertake independent study at an allocated work station, but, owing to the need to quarantine items after use, we are currently unable to offer the opportunity for private browsing. Please let us know if you have any disability requirements that may affect your visit.

To support the Test and Trace system, you will need to let us have your name and contact details (address, phone number and email address). We will hold this information in line with the Archive’s existing GDPR policy. Up to two people from the same household or bubble may attend the appointment but all must be registered with us in advance. Anyone who does not provide the required details will be denied access.

Confirmation of your booking and guidance for visitors will be sent via email.

2. Preparing to visit
Please consider carefully what equipment you will need with you on the day; this might include laptops, notebooks and pencils. You will not be able to bring large bags and bulky coats into the library. There is a coat rack in the entrance lobby, but items will be left at your own risk. You will not be able to borrow any equipment from the Archive.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. If you do not cancel in advance you may not be able to book a future session.

3. Travelling to the Archive
A map showing our location, in the grounds of Shilstone House near Modbury, together with detailed directions, can be found on the Find Us page of our website. Visitors must follow any signs on display, and park in the large DRA Car Park on the left before the Archive building; parking is free of charge. Please do not park in our courtyard without prior permission. If you are a blue badge holder, you can request a priority space at the time of booking.

Appointments are limited to two hours, so please arrive promptly as we will not be able to extend your library session, and you may need to rebook for another day.

4. On arrival
The entrance to the Archive is on the ground floor; on foot take the first left after leaving the main car park. You will need to sanitize your hands at the door using the alcohol gel provided, before ringing the doorbell. Please wait, and a member of staff will greet you at the door.

For those using the NHS Covid-19 App, you will be able to check in to the Archive by scanning one of the QR Code posters within our building. The venue information will be logged on your phone for 21 days; if during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at this venue, the App will notify you about the need to self-isolate.

Please wear a face covering, such as a mask or a visor, whilst moving around the Archive. In case you forget to bring one, you will be able to obtain a mask from the staff member on duty in return for a suggested donation of £1 into a sealed collection box. You will not be allowed to enter the building without a face covering. While working independently, however, you may remove your mask.

We will show you to a designated work space in our library, where you will find items relating to your enquiry, and based on the information you provided at the time of booking.

5. During your appointment
You will be able to carry out independent research in our first floor library, using the materials that have been selected for you by our team. Unfortunately, you will not be able to browse the collection but you may ask staff members to supply additional items, subject to any restrictions. We will be happy to offer limited research support, from a distance and subject to staff availability, but please be aware that we will be working with reduced staff and that we cannot guarantee to be able to meet all your requirements at the time of your appointment.

We ask that you follow the normal conventions of working in a library, and in particular to
• maintain a low level of noise at all times; there should be no raised voices.
• show respect for other visitors’ privacy and concentration.
• wash your hands regularly and before using items in the collection; to this end alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been placed throughout the building. In line with current national practice you only need to wear gloves when working with delicate or photographic materials.
• only use pencil in the library.
• refrain from making marks of any kind on items in the collection.
• turn pages carefully, and without moistening your fingers to do so.
• obtain permission before photographing items in the collection, and complete a copyright form as appropriate.
• refrain from eating or drinking in the library, and from smoking anywhere in the building.
• take great care when consulting any item in our collection.
• avoid bringing animals onto the premises.

Please note that we may schedule up to two appointments simultaneously providing there is no clash of interests. For your safety, there will be no more than four visitors in the library at any one time, and the work spaces will be separate.

To aid ventilation, where possible the windows will be kept open and the heating will be switched off. Toilet facilities will be available on the ground floor. Refreshments will not be available at the Archive and we will not be providing any space for visitors to eat or drink.

6. Leaving the Archive
At the end of your appointment a member of staff will escort you to the exit. Please leave all the items you have used in your designated work space. These items will be quarantined for 72 hours and the surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned before the next user.

There is no charge for using the library, but we welcome donations, large or small, which can be deposited in our sealed collection tins.

We will retain a record of your contact information, the items you have used, your arrival and departure times and the names of any staff members with whom you came into contact.
If you fall ill within two weeks of your visit, please notify us immediately.

7. Further Visits
You are welcome to book further appointments to use the DRA library, but please continue to check our website and social media profiles for the latest information.

If you have any questions or concerns about your visit to the Archive, please call us on 01548 830832 or email office@dra.uk.net.

Abigail C. Gray
Curator and Resident Archaeologist
December 2020
Updated: March 2021

Stay in the loop!

Join the DRA Friends to receive the latest news from the archive
as well as details of our events and exhibitions by email.

Where we are

Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW

Call us: 01548 830832

Email us: office@dra.uk.net