Templer Study Centre

Reopening the Templer Study Centre

The National Army Museum is pleased to announce that, in line with the general reopening of our doors on 7 July 2020, the Templer Study Centre (TSC) will also be resuming limited operations.

The safety of our visitors and staff is of the highest priority. We are therefore introducing temporary additional measures to keep everyone as safe as possible.

The entrance to the Templer Study Centre

What is the Templer Study Centre?

The Templer Study Centre is the National Army Museum's on-site study and research space. It is an excellent resource for exploring the history of our Army and learning more about its impact on the wider world.


Our archive contains a wealth of material for researching military, political and social history, as well as a range of other subjects, including fashion, science and technology.


Our library contains over 55,000 books, and represents a particularly strong collection of regimental and campaign histories. We also have over 3,670 maps and charts and 10,000 separate photographic collections available to view.

Opening times and access

During the first phase of reopening, the TSC will be open to current readers by appointment only. Opening hours will be Tuesday to Friday, 10.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 3.15pm (last entry 2.15pm).

We will not be able to accommodate walk-in readers or casual enquirers. The service will be closed on any days on which there are no pre-booked appointments.


Mon: Closed
Tue: 10.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 3.15pm
Wed: 10.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 3.15pm
Thu: 10.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 3.15pm
Fri: 10.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 3.15pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed


Lower Ground Floor Lower Level

Wheelchair access:
Via the lift on the Lower Ground Floor Upper Level

Plan a visit

Scheduled closures

The Templer Study Centre is closed on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays, and also on the following dates:

  • 10 September 2020 (staff training)
  • 10 December 2020 (staff training)

Appointments and ordering items

Access will be by appointment only, and strictly controlled to limit numbers at any given time. Appointments will only be accepted with a minimum of 10 working days’ notice, for a maximum of 10 items.

You may request a day and time to visit during the opening hours listed above, but confirmation will depend on staff availability. Please do not assume your booking is confirmed and do not arrive at the TSC unless you have received a confirmation email in reply.

Appointment requests and pre-orders must be submitted via info@nam.ac.uk including:

  • The registered reader’s full name
  • The reader's ticket number
  • The list of items requested including their accession numbers
  • If you wish to view your requested items in a specific order
  • The date you are hoping to visit

Additional items cannot be ordered on the day.

Please note that the TSC provides access to the National Army Museum’s collections of photographs, archives, books and periodicals, all of which can be searched on our Online Inventory.

All other collections are kept at our Collections Storage Facility. Find out more about how to access these collections.

We encourage readers to limit the time of their visit to as short as possible in order to provide access to as many readers as possible. Please make us aware if you know you will only need a short visit, so we can accommodate others where possible.

Registration of new readers

Regrettably, the TSC will not be able to register or accommodate new readers during the first phase of reopening. Only existing registered readers who hold a current valid reader card will be able to use the service at this time. This is due to the requirement to handle personal identification documents in order to register new readers.

A six-month extension will be granted to existing reader cards that are due to expire in the remainder of 2020.

In order to assist those who are unable to access collections while this limit is enforced, we are endeavouring to offer enhanced digital access to our collections, where it is possible to do so. (Please see our section on Digital access to collections below.)

A visitor uses TSC facilties

Rules of access

All of the usual TSC rules of access remain in force. In addition, readers are expected to observe the following safety information.

Please limit the number of personal items that you bring to the TSC as our usual lockers will be unavailable. The only items that readers will be permitted to bring into the reading room are a phone or camera, one laptop or tablet, and one notepad and pencil.

Our on-site terminals, microfilm readers and open-browsing shelves will be off-limits. The Auchinleck Room’s browsing shelves are also temporarily off-limits.

Readers are requested to bring and wear face coverings during their visit, and will be expected to have washed their hands prior to their visit. However, hand sanitiser should not be used immediately before handling collections as the alcohol in it can cause damage.

On arrival, readers should wait at the 2m social distance marker in front of the TSC reception desk, where they will receive further instructions on access.

Strict social distancing rules with a 2m distance must be observed at all times.

Readers will be allocated a specific desk which they will need to remain at when working throughout their research visit.

The items that you have requested to view will have been retrieved prior to your arrival. If you wish to view them in a specific order, please clearly outline this in the request email.

Once your reader card has been viewed and you have been signed in by TSC staff, you will be requested to move 2m back from our transfer table, and then your first item will be placed there.

Once the staff member has moved back to the desk, you may proceed to collect the item for viewing. Gloves are not permitted to be worn while handling collections items.

To return items once you have finished with them, place them back on the transfer table, and then move 2m back to allow staff to retrieve the item and place the next item for you. This will be repeated until you have completed your requested items.

If another reader is moving, retrieving or returning items, you are asked to remain at your seat until they have sat down or left the TSC.

We ask readers to only remain in the reading room for as long as it takes to conduct their collections-based research, and not linger to complete writing or other personal work.

Readers are expected to complete their work by 3.05pm and to have promptly left the TSC by 3.15pm.

Regular and thorough cleaning of all areas is being undertaken throughout the day, and collections items will be quarantined between users to ensure safe handing for the public and staff.

Digital access to collections

Before attempting to book a visit to the TSC, we encourage the public to read our FAQs and website research advice to check if those assist in answering your research enquiry. Also, visit our Online Collection, as many items have been digitised and can be viewed online rather than in person. The Online Collection also often provides more details about items than the Inventory.

In order that we may better assist remote researchers and unregistered readers who are unable to visit in person, we are making every effort to provide enhanced digital access where possible. Some collections are unable to be digitised for various reasons such as conservation or copyright restrictions, but please send us an email outlining which item you wish to have digital access to, and we can advise on availability.

Please note, requests up to ten pages are free, but we charge a £5 admin fee and £1 per page on reproduction requests between 10-50 pages. We are currently unable to process requests over 50 pages due to limited staff availability.

Oral Histories which have already been digitised will be provided remotely for free while they cannot be accessed in the TSC.

If you have any further enquiries about accessing the collections during the first phase of reopening, please submit them via email to info@nam.ac.uk.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."