Museum Enquiry Service

The museum’s incredible collections span the history and archaeology of Salisbury and south Wiltshire, from prehistoric times to the present day. Our archaeology collections are of outstanding national importance and were Designated by the Department of Culture Media and Sport in recognition of this status.

The museum receives a high level of enquiries due to the exceptional nature of our collections. These are managed and researched by a small and dedicated team of staff. In order to improve the quality of our service the museum has decided to standardise the way that we manage our enquiries, by introducing clear guidelines and charges to cover staff time.

Museum’s enquiry service relates to providing information about the museum’s collections and facilitating access to source material for research visits in person i.e.: retrieving objects from the collection stores and removing objects from display. Our new guidelines mean that you will receive dedicated time from a professional member of staff. Requests for photographic images and associated fees will be dealt with separately.

The process for making a collections related enquiry is as follows:

  1. Please write to the museum setting out your request or complete an enquiry form (available on our website).
  2. The museum will assess your enquiry within 30 days of receipt. We will only undertake those enquiries which we feel we can help with. Enquiries will be undertaken in the order in which they are received.
  3. The standard rate is £20 (plus VAT) per hour charged in half-hourly blocks. The museum will estimate the amount of time involved with the enquiry and request payment before the research is undertaken.
  4. For your fee we will do our best to answer your enquiry as thoroughly as possible. We will check the museum collections and resources and compile a report from the results. This will include, where possible: photocopies, details of sources consulted and where appropriate suggestions for further research.
  5. If you enquiry involves a visit to the museum the fee will cover time spent retrieving objects and then overseeing your visit to the museum. In practice the time spent on research and preparing for a visit in person is usually longer than one hour.
  6. A maximum of three hours on any one research request will be applied in order to meet the needs of other users of the museum. Written replies may take up to 30 days from the receipt of payment.
  7. Please note that the museum has a small team of professional and dedicated staff. We will do as much as we can to help, but occasionally issues such as exhibition schedules, project deadlines, holidays and staff illness can make it difficult to meet research requests at short notice.
  8. Any person wishing to reproduce or publish, in electronic or hard-copy form, in whole or in part, any record or any transcript of any record in possession of The Salisbury Museum must tell us that they wish to do so as part of the written application, indicating the nature of the proposed publication.

There are alternative places one can go to research local history which are listed below:

  • The Local History section of Salisbury Library contains a vast amount of information about Salisbury and the surrounding area including photographs.    
    Salisbury Library, Local Studies section, Market Place, Salisbury,    SP1 1BL.
    Tel: 01722 324145
  • The Wiltshire and Swindon Archives hold the archives for the county which cover all aspects of Wiltshire life including family history documents, building records, legal documents and school registers.
    Wiltshire Studies, Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3QN.
    Tel: 01249 705500
  • Members of the Wiltshire Family History Society are very active in many aspects of Wiltshire Family Research. Wiltshire Family History Society, Wiltshire FHS Resource Centre, Unit 3, Bath Road Business Centre, Devizes SN10 1XA.