• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Templer Study Centre

The entrance to the Templer Study Centre

What is the Templer Study Centre?

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

Opening hours

Mon: Closed
Tue-Fri: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Sat-Sun: Closed


Floor -2

Wheelchair access:
Via the lift on Floor -2

A brief introduction

This video provides a quick overview of the rich selection of resources and material available to researchers at the Templer Study Centre.


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 periodicals, 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.

Appointments and ordering items

The Templer Study Centre is open to everyone. We recommend booking your seat and ordering items 10 days in advance to avoid disappointment. However, if there is space available, we are happy to accommodate walk-ins.

Please submit your appointment request and details of the collections you wish to see by email (info@nam.ac.uk) including:

  • The reader's full name
  • The reader's card number (for existing reader’s card holders) or a completed reader’s registration form (see reader registration details below)
  • The list of items you wish to view (including all accession numbers) - can be up to 10 items
  • Whether you wish to view your requested items in a specific order
  • The date(s) you are hoping to visit, including an estimated arrival time
  • Any access needs

Please note that it may not be possible to order additional items during your visit, although staff will try to assist where they can.

The Templer Study Centre 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. To search for archives, photographs, maps and charts, please use the Search Objects section. To search specifically for books and periodicals, please use the Search Books section. For further guidance on using the Online Inventory, please use our ‘how-to’ guides.

All other collections are kept at our storage facility in Stevenage. Find out more about how to access these collections.

When making your booking, it would be helpful if you could let us know if you only intend to make a short visit, so we are able to accommodate others.

Registration of new readers

The Templer Study Centre is pleased to be able to register new readers and renew existing readers' cards that have expired.

For new reader cards to be issued, we require readers to:

  1. Complete and return by email (info@nam.ac.uk) our Templer Study Centre reader registration form (also available in Word format)
  2. Bring with you on your first visit documentation to support your application: one form of identification to prove your name and photograph, the other to prove your permanent address. If any of your documents are in a language other than English, you must bring an official translation. If any of your documents have expired, we are unable to process your application.

You will be issued with your new reader card when you arrive at the Templer Study Centre for your appointment. Please bring your original documents with you to show to staff.

Accepted forms of photographic identification include:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • National identity card
  • Home Office residency permit, indefinite leave to remain or police registration document
  • Army, Ministry of Defence, Police, Customs or NHS identification card
  • Academic institution (eg university ID card)
  • The National Archives or British Library reader pass
  • National Concessionary Travel Pass with photograph (eg bus pass or Freedom Pass)

Accepted forms of permanent address include:

  • Driving licence with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • Passport with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • National identity card with address (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • Utility bill dated within the last 3 months
  • Bank, building society or credit card statement dated within the last 3 months
  • Pension or benefit statement (showing current receipt of benefits) dated within the last 3 months
  • HM Revenue and Customs statement dated to the current year
  • Council tax bill dated to the current year
  • TV licence dated to the current year
  • Insurance policy dated to the current year
  • Firearms / Shotgun licence (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)
  • Pilot's / Boatmaster's licence (where the address has been officially entered by the issuing authority)

Rules of access

Your appointment should be confirmed by email prior to visiting. Please let us know if you have not received a confirmation by emailing info@nam.ac.uk. If you are an existing reader, please bring your reader’s card with you.

Locker facilities will be available for small bags and coats. The only items that readers will be permitted to bring into the reading room are:

  • One phone or camera
  • One laptop or tablet
  • Notepad and pencils.

Further details of the reading room rules and handling guidelines may be found on the Templer Study Centre Rules of Access page.

Digital access to collections

Before attempting to book a visit to the Templer Study Centre, we encourage you to read our FAQs and website research advice, which may 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.

To assist remote researchers and readers who are unable to visit the Templer Study Centre in person, we are happy to offer a reprographics service. Please complete and return by email (info@nam.ac.uk) the Templer Study Centre reprographics order form (also available in Word format) and we can advise on availability.

Please note that:

  • Requests up to ten pages are free.
  • We charge a £5 admin fee and £1 per page on reproduction requests between 10 and 50 pages.
  • We are currently unable to process requests over 50 pages due to limited staff availability.
  • Some collections are unable to be digitised for various reasons such as conservation or copyright restrictions.
  • All reprographics orders are for personal, non-commercial research purposes only. If you wish to reuse these images in any capacity (either in print or digitally), you will need to apply for a picture licence. For more information, please consult our Picture Library guidance.

If you have any further enquiries about accessing the collections, please submit them by email to info@nam.ac.uk.

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