The Society of Genealogists are reopening 4 August 2020


Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists have announced that they will be reopening their premises in London on 4 August 2020.

Here is what they said on their website this week:

“We are pleased to announce that the Society of Genealogists’ Library is opening to SoG members only on Tuesday 4th August with staggered sessions opening from 11am-4pm and 11.30-4pm

To begin with the number of members in the Library will be limited to a maximum of 20 persons per day and places must be booked in advance prior to visiting. Booking for sessions can be made on our website here

For the time being, it is intended that the Society will open for Library use each Tuesday and one Saturday a month. Back office project volunteers only will be welcome in the Library on Mondays. We hope to work up to opening for more days and to more people as we become more confident of providing a safe and workable experience for staff, volunteers and members and as resources allow.

During the days when the Society’s library is closed to visitors our staff and volunteers will continue the service provisions offered during lockdown. Please see the website for details

Visits must be booked at least a week in advance and will be made available up two weeks before the date of the visit on a rolling weekly basis every Saturday morning. Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis – you will not be able to bring anyone with you, unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book – we may cancel your booking if you exceed our reasonable limit of one booking per week.

We will not permit anyone to enter the building who has not pre-booked a visit, so please do not travel if you have not been able to book as we will not be able to let you in.

When members come into the Library, they will notice some changes. The Society has introduced safety and social hygiene measures to ensure the safety of our staff, members and friends. The toilets and cloakroom will be open so you can wash your hands and all hygiene guidance will be adhered to. Lockers will be open for you to store your belongings and take as little into the library as possible. There will be a cleaner in the building when we are open to make sure all surfaces stay clean and safe. We would ask every visitor to use the sanitisers and wipes provided around the building and to follow social distancing measures and one-way procedures as indicated by signs around the building.

Computers and Microfiche /Microfilm readers have been spaced around the building rather than just in the lower library. You can reserve a computer or reader at the same time as you reserve your seat

Films and fiche will be available as normal and we would ask that all books, microforms, CDs etc be returned to the returns trolleys and boxes  provided after use so they can be cleaned and or quarantined as appropriate

Our maintenance team is erecting safety screens at reception and enquiry desks. We have marked out the common room safely, but we may have to ask people not to rush in all at once. Unfortunately, we won’t be making the fridge, microwave, vending machine, cups or kettles available so remember to bring a flask or water with you. (But still only in the common room!) The delis and sandwich bars in Goswell Road are open.

Current  law in England requires face coverings to be worn in shops and as the SoG reception area is a shop environment we would ask all visitors to abide by the Government regulations and wear face coverings in the reception and locker room area. The regulations strongly encourage wearing a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Our staff will be wearing masks for your protection and we would appreciate it if everyone who is able would please consider wearing a face covering in face to face situations within the library (such as when seeking staff assistance) and where social distancing may be limited.

We will ask everyone booking a visit to agree to a new Society of Genealogists’ visitor guidelines below, aimed at encouraging all visitors to do their bit to help us ensure everyone’s safety.”

See the full post from else Churchill on the SoG website here:

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