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West Yorkshire Archive Service
West Yorkshire Archive Service

Where can I find records you don't hold?

There are various records that you might expect WYAS to hold but that are not among our collections. The table below aims to indicate what these might be and where you can find them.

Records we don’t have:

Where you might find them:

Adoption records

Very few records survive. You may wish to try the Local Council for more recent records and files.  

Aerial photos

There are various aerial photographs available online. You might also wish to try the National Monuments Record, the local Historic Environment Record or the Local Studies Library.

Bargee records

Unfortunately few of these have survived. The Virtual Waterways website may help you locate those that do.

Bastardy bonds/certificates

Many of these have not survived.  There are some within Parish or Board of Guardians records. Try our online catalogue for details.

Birth, marriage and death certificates

The records of Civil Registration are available from the General Register Office. You can order certificates online.

Bishop’s Transcripts

Most of these for West Yorkshire are held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York (see Collections Guide 3 for Richmond BTs WYAS Leeds)

Burgess Rolls (Borough Electoral Registers)

There is a list of those Electoral registers we don't hold and where to find them on our Wiki [LINK]

Catholic registers and records

These are held by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds which covers all of West Yorkshire.

Census returns

These are available online at Find My Past or Ancestry for a subscription.

Children’s Homes

Very few records of Children's Homes survive. Information about the National Children's Home may be available from Action for Children.

Criminal case records

We do not hold these. For information on individual cases try local and national newspaper reports. Local newspapers are usually available from the Local Studies Library for the area.

Driving licences

Expired licences very rarely exist.  You may find information about who a vehicle was registered to in the vehicle registration files we hold.

Early Coroners records (unless inquest by Thomas Taylor)

Try local newspapers for reporting of the inquest. These are usually available at the Local Studies Library for the area.

Early non-conformist registers

We have many of these on microfiche but the originals are at the National Archives in Kew.

Fire brigade records

We have few of these but assume the majority if they survive are still with the Fire Service.

Immigrations/alien records

The majority of these records are likely to be at the National Archives in Kew, though there may be a few records in Local Authority collections.

Local History and other books

The best place for these is the Local Studies Library.

Marks & Spencer archive

This archive is held by the University of Leeds

Military records

These are generally with the relevant Regimental museum.

Municipal Cemeteries

The majority of these records are still with the Local Council as they tend to manage the cemeteries.


Most Local Studies Libraries hold local newspaper archives.

Ordnance Survey maps

One of the best sources for historical OS maps is the Local Studies Library

Personnel records

Most personnel files tend to be rountinely destroyed by the organisation and do not survive within business archive collections.

Railway personnel records

The National Archives in Kew has a guide to these types of records.

Records of other religious denominations

Most of these have not been deposited and will still be held by the relevant organisation/place of worship.

Records of the Assizes

These are held by the National Archives in Kew.

Rhubarb records

We have very few of these records and belive any surviviing are still in private hands.

School examination certificates/transcripts

You may wish to contact the examination board for copies of these or the Local Education Authority who arranged the examination.

Trade Directories

Many Local Studies Libraries include these in their holdings.

Transportation records

The majority of these records are likely to be at the National Archives in Kew.


For most Yorkshire wills prior to 1858 contact the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York. For wills post-1858 you need to contact the York Probate Sub-Registry (see Collections Guide 4 for a list of wills held by WYAS Leeds and Wakefield)

Workhouse admission and other records

Many workhouse records have not survived for information on the history of indivdual workhouses and where surviving records might be see:

If you hold any of these types of records and would be interested in depositing them with us we would be interested in hearing from you.

Please contact us on  For further information of what we collect see our Collection Policy. There is information on depositing archives with us here


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