WYAS, Wakefield Office
West Yorkshire History Centre
Tel: +44 (0)113 5350142
Second Saturday of every month 9:30am-5.00pm
Documents must be pre-ordered in advance of your visit.
If you are not sure of the individual document references please do ask - staff will usually be able to send you more detailed catalogues of the collections you are interested in.
Access to archival records is from between 10.00am and 4.00pm in our secure search room.
We are members of the County Archive Research Network (CARN) readers’ ticket scheme. Please bring your CARN readers’ ticket with you when you visit. If you do not have a ticket please bring official proof of ID which includes your name, address and signature.
A decision has been taken to close the CARN reader ticket system on 30th November 2018. As a member of the scheme WYAS will continue to issue and recognise CARN Reader Tickets up until that date. We will also continue to recognise CARN tickets issued under the current system until they expire. We are currently undertaking a review to consider the way in which we will manage the process of Reader Registration in the future, when a national scheme is no longer available.
Please contact us by telephone on 0113 5350142 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to planning your visit. Staff will advise you on whether to reserve a table, a computer or a microfiche reader, depending on which records you wish to consult.
Please note that if you would like to view original archive material an appointment is necessary.
A range of talks are available to groups and organisations who would like to find out more about our Archive Service. In our talks we aim to explain the work we do and help to raise public awareness of our collections and expertise.
A rest area is available for the consumption of your own refreshments and houses a hot drinks machines and a water cooler
Public lockers are provided and are coin operated (£1 refundable)
Toilets are located in the main exhibition area.
There is no car parking at the West Yorkshire History Centre but there is a pay and display car park situated on Brunswick Street which charges £2.50 for the day.
Please note that the West Yorkshire History Centre has three blue badge car parking spaces onsite that are available for blue badge holders. The building is fully wheelchair accessible.
We are approximately a 5 minute walk from Wakefield Kirkgate Railway Station and a 20 minute walk from Wakefield Westgate Railway Station. There is a free city bus which travels from Wakefield Westgate Railway Station and stops just outside the West Yorkshire History Centre.
To plan your journey using public transport, visit Metro Journey Planner. Our postcode is WF1 1JG.
The archival collections held by West Yorkshire Archive Service in Wakefield are an unparalleled record of the history of the West Riding of Yorkshire and its communities from 1194 to the present day. WYAS, Wakefield is the third largest local authority archive in Great Britain comprising over 10 million documents. The shelving for all the collections would reach almost twice the height of Everest!
Many collections have national significance, among them the unique records of the pioneering Stanley Royd Mental Health Hospital, recently awarded international status as part of the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.
Other major collections that will be cared for at the centre are the unparalleled West Riding Registry of Deeds made up of 12,763 volumes containing 7 million extracts of property transactions from 1704 to 1970, as well as the massive National Coal Board collection of over 2000 boxes relating to collieries and coal miners in Wakefield and the south Leeds areas.