FAQs

How do I make an appointment to view an item found on the online catalogue?
Email archives@theguardian.com quoting the reference number of the item(s) you are interested in consulting. The reading room in located in King's Cross, London, and is open to researchers Mondays to Fridays, from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.

Why can't I find articles which appeared in the Guardian and Observer?
This catalogue does not contained published articles from the Guardian or Observer. These can be accessed on the Guardian and Observer Digital archive or at a number of libraries throughout the country. See our website for further information.

Why can't I see images of all the documents in the catalogue?
The catalogue contains written descriptions of documents in our collections and is not designed to provide online access to digital images of documents. You may be able to find a small number of images along with their catalogue records but most will simply have a description to enable you to decide if you wish to come in and consult the material or enquire further about it.

Why can't I find records relating to the early history of the Guardian or Observer?
Guardian: The GNM Archive mainly holds records that relate to the Guardian since its move from Manchester to London in the 1960s. An overview of our collections is available on our website. While the archive does hold some earlier records the majority are held at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester.

Observer: Few documents relating to the Observer's early years are known to have survived and the majority of those that have remain within private collections. The GNM archive holds records relating to the paper from 1907 onwards, although there are still significant gaps in our records. The archive of JL Garvin (editor of the Observer 1908-1942) is held by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A microfilm of the catalogue is available for consultation in the archive reading room.

Why can't I find what I'm looking for?
You may find it helpful to look at the overview of records held in the archive on our website. General tips to help you search the catalogue are included below but if you still can't find what you are looking for please do email us with your query.

Why doesn't the catalogue work late at night?
The catalogue is updated overnight between midnight and 12.30am (London time) and you will not be able to search it during this time. If the search function is not working at any other time of day please email to let us know.

Search Tips:
You can use an asterisk (*) known as a "wildcard" to extend your search terms. For example searching for photograph* will retrieve not only results for 'photograph' but extensions of the word such as 'photographs' and 'photographic'.

If you want to search for an exact term, use double quotation marks around the phrase.

Remember that a catalogue search will only find exact works used in the catalogue so if you can't find what you are looking for it is best to use another term.

When searching for personal names in the catalogue search it is often best to search just for a surname as a full name can appear in a number of different forms eg CP Scott, Charles Scott, Charles Prestwich Scott.

If an item is not yet catalogued it won't appear on the catalogue. However, we may still be able to help so please contact us.

Please note that Internet explorer and Firefox are the recommended browsers for searching the catalogue and you may experience technical problems when using other browsers.

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