West Yorkshire History Centre - Wakefield Archive Service Opening Times and Information

WYAS, Wakefield Office

West Yorkshire History Centre

127 Kirkgate



Email: wakefield@wyjs.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1924 782030

Opening hours


Unfortunately due to the bad weather and road conditions we have had to close the Wakefield office today [Thursday 8th March] we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact the office to make an alternative appointment


Please note that the public search rooms at the West Yorkshire History Centre will be closed the week commencing the 12th March 2018.  During this time we will be working on improving access to the local authority collections in our care.  The exhibition space within the History Centre will be open Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm showcasing our new Circus themed exhibition. Our search rooms will open as normal the week commencing 19th March 2018.

Monday 9.30am-5.00pm

Tuesday 9.30am-5.00pm

Thursday 9.30am-5.00pm

Friday 9.30am-5.00pm

Second Saturday of every month 9:30am-5.00pm

Document retrievals:

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.


Reader Registration

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.


Please contact us by telephone on 01924 782030 or by email wakefield@wyjs.org.uk 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. 

Group Talks and Workshops

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. 

Car Parking

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.


We are approximately a 5 minute walk from Wakefield Kirkgate Railway Station and a 20 minute walk from Wakefield Westgate Railway Station.

Journey Planning

To plan your journey using public transport, visit Metro Journey Planner. Our postcode is WF1 1JG.

Our Collections

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.