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  Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What are the opening hours for the Reference Desk ?
  2. Is the Search Room closed during the lunch hour?
  3. Can I use a pen to record my information from the document?
  4. Are you allowed to have a snack or a drink while viewing the documents?
  5. Are cell phones permitted?
  6. Is there any particular protocol I must follow on entering the Search Room?
  7. How often do I have to fill out “Application for Research” form?

  1. Opening hours are from 8:30 am  to 4:00 pm. Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 3:45 pm on Friday.
  1. The Search Room is opened to the public during the lunch hour.



  1. No.  Pens are not allowed in the Search Room especially when using the archival records. Only pencils are to be used.
  1. There is a strict no eating or drinking policy in the Search Room. 
  1. All cell phones must be either switched off or put in the silent/vibrate mode. Additionally, all cell phone calls must be answered out of the Search Room so other researchers are not disturbed.
  1. You must first check with the Security Guard.  He/She will then brief you on the rules of the Search Room.  You then proceed to the Reference Desk where you must complete an “Application for Research” form.
  1. You are required to fill out a form for each visit.   However, you only fill one form per day.   For example, if you leave to have refreshments, upon your return on that same day you do not need to fill out another form.
  1. No.   The onus is on the researcher to provide their own refreshments.
  1. No.   The National Archives does not loan books or documents.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
  1. It can take approximately three to fiveminutes depending on the size and location of the items.
  1. Written permission must be obtained from the Government Archivist before any photographs are taken. 
  1. Photocopies are free of charge.   However, they can only be granted if the documents are in good condition and at the discretion of the Government Archivist. Please note that reproduction of the records in any format is subject to the Copyright Laws of Trinidad and Tobago    .
  1. Each researcher is allowed five (5) copies per day.   If however, the researcher requires more than five (5) copies, he/she must complete the “Reproduction Application Form” and supply white, blank sheets of copy paper.  The paper is calculated at a ratio of five (5) to one (1) that is, for every one copy, five (5) sheets of paper must be provided.  Again, there is a limit to how many copies any one person is allowed on any given day and this is also at the discretion of the Government Archivist.
  1. Yes. A researcher can be denied access to a document if it is in poor condition or if there are access restrictions set by the donor.
  1. Yes, you can use a laptop in the Search Room.   Be sure to inform the Archives Assistant at the Reference Desk before any such device is used.
  1. No. Researchers must never mark or note anything on the documents at the National Archives.

    Q.Some of the old newspapers are really difficult to use and almost impossible to take notes without pressing or placing the writing paper on them. Am I allowed to do that?

  1. Absolutely not!   You are not allowed to lean against, press on or tear off any of the archival documents.  If you are experiencing any difficulties handling any documents, please ask the Archives Assistant at the Reference Desk to assist you in dealing with the item.
  1. Researchers are allowed a maximum of three (3) documents at one time.

   Q.Can I request that a document be taken out for me via the phone before my arrival at the Archives?

  1. No. You may however, inquire if a particular document is contained in our holdings.
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