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Using our collections

Wheatstones CryptographThe Archives Reading Room has been set aside for the supervised consultation of archives and manuscripts. As so many of these items are unique and irreplaceable, please help us to maintain the security and preservation of the collections by observing the following regulations: 

  • Only lead pencils and laptop computers may be used in the reading room
  • All coats and bags must be stored in the cloakroom, regardless of their size
  • A small clear plastic bag containing valuables is permitted
  • Mobile phones must be switched to ‘silent’ mode or turned off
  • The use of handheld digital cameras is allowed upon completion of a copyright declaration form and at discretion of staff; flash photography is not allowed
  • The use of tripod cameras may be permitted in special circumstances, with advance notice and at the discretion of staff
  • Complete one order slip for each item or short unbroken sequence required
  • Documents ordered at least a working day in advance will be ready for readers on their arrival. Document orders made during a visit can also be retrieved between 09.30-13.00, and 14.00-16.45, though readers may have to wait during these times.
  • No food or drink, including bottled water, sweets and chewing gum, can be taken into the Reading Room
  • Document handling guidelines (pdf) are displayed on each table, and readers are asked to study these carefully before commencing their research
  • Staff may use their discretion to bring up only part of a large order at one time

Anyone who fails to comply with the Reading Room regulations may be refused access to the Archives Reading Room.


All researchers must register with us before they are permitted to view the archives, by completing a Reader Registration form (pdf) and presenting two forms of identification, one photographic and one proof of address as listed here. This can be done on the day of your visit.

Examples of identification accepted (click on + to expand):

  • Passport
  • Photo driving licence
  • National ID card
  • Police/Customs/Home Office/warrant card
  • Armed Forces ID card
  • University ID card
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC) 
  • Freedom Pass or older person’s bus pass photo card 
  • London taxicard

Proof of address:
  • Utility bill
  • Bank/building society statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Council tax bill
  • HM Revenue and Customs statement
  • Passports with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • National ID card with address
  • Driving licence with address
  • Home Office permit to stay
  • University certificate for hall of residence (stamped and signed by institution)
  • Home insurance policy
  • Pension, Benefit Agency or family credit letter statement
  • Student Loans Company letter

Please note that where type of identification appears on both lists, it can only be used as one of the forms of identification.

Special undertaking for restricted access records

Any reader wishing to access restricted access records containing personal information must complete a Special Undertaking form. 

Access to restricted access records will normally only be given to academic researchers, allied with an academic institution, who have received ethics clearance from that institution. Details of their research project and their ethics clearance, as well as details of how they will protect the data they access must be submitted in the first instance to the Archives Services Manager before a decision will be made about whether to allow access.

Publishing from the collections

If you wish to reproduce material from the archives in publication, you must obtain permission from us. A publication may be any of the following:

  • a printed publication, such as a book, journal article or exhibition catalogue
  • a doctoral thesis
  • a film, video or television broadcast
  • an electronic publication, such as a website or other digital resource
  • public display in any form of electronic or hard copy (except for a single copy for use in an academic lecture, conference or seminar)
  • use of an image in any form of merchandise

Quoting from unpublished material

Readers wishing to publish quotations or to cite from any unpublished material (archives, manuscripts, typescripts, unpublished photographs, theses or records) held in this archive must seek either the permission of King’s College London, or the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, by contacting the Archives Services Manager by email or letter.

For a small number of brief quotations, it is sufficient to give the title, publication information, a brief summary of what is being used and the nature of the use.

For substantial works, the university and / or the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives reserve the right to require the submission of relevant portions of text before publication.

This also applies in the case of quotations:

  • from Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives holdings under 30 years old
  • from the papers of FM Sir William Robertson (including citations)
  • of entire documents
  • of 200 words or more

Additionally, all readers who have been given access to restricted access archival records will be required to submit relevant extracts of their texts prior to publication.

No copyright material should be used in any publication without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder.

Quoting from published material

Readers wishing to quote in a publication from published material are reminded of the need to abide by the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1998. A summary guide to the Act can be found on King’s College London’s Copyright web pages.

Using images in publication and broadcasting

To request permission you will need to contact the Archives Services Manager. Please provide as much information as you can about the use you wish to make of the image. In particular, we need to know:

  • the details of the image in question
  • how the image will be used. If you wish to use the image more than once within the same publication/broadcast you should give full details of each proposed usage
  • full details of the publication concerned, including the retail price and print run• whether national or world rights are sought

Reproduction fees may be payable to us if you wish to reproduce an image in publication. Please see details of reproduction fees for more information.


We welcome enquiries from film and television companies interested in filming on location in the Archives Reading Room. Please contact the Archives directly. 

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