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)113 5350142

Opening hours

From the September 2021

West Yorkshire History Centre will be opening three days per week from September 2021. All visitors are required to book an appointment and order documents at least one week in advance.  Please do not travel to our building without having received confirmation of your booking.

Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask whilst in our buildings (unless exempt) and wash your hands regularly.


Open days:

Mondays 10am-12:30pm, 1:30pm-4pm

Tuesdays 10am -12:30pm, 1:30pm - 4pm

Fridays 10am -12:30pm, 1:30pm - 4pm

We are operating an appointment only system. Please email wakefield@wyjs.org.uk to arrange to book an available appointment time. 



Please contact us by telephone 0113 5350142 or by email wakefield@wyjs.org.uk to make an appointment. 

To adhere to social distancing guidelines there will be 4 visitor spaces available to book per session. You must order your documents at least one week in advance of your planned visit.  Staff will be able to advise you on how to access catalogues if you are unsure of the document reference numbers you need.  Please note that there is currently a limit on 6 documents per person, per visit.

To help ensure that our spaces are safe for both public and staff, and that we are following government guidelines, please read the office guidance before planning your visit. 

You will initially only be able to book one slot per week to allow other visitors the opportunity to visit the archives.

N.B. We will be unable to provide many of our other usual reading room services, including, access to microfilm and microfiche, and access to our computers. Any items usually available on our open access shelves including the Registry of Deeds indexes, paper catalogues, and books can now be viewed in the searchroom during your appointment if ordered at least one week in advance.


  • The on-site rest area is currently closed but there are cafés and shops within walking distance 
  • Public lockers are provided and are coin operated (£1 refundable)
  • A disabled toilet will be available for use and is located in the main exhibition area.

How to find us  

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.

Please note - Wakefield Council have confirmed the free 2 hour parking scheme has been extended into 2022 for publicly run off-road car parks as long as a ticket is taken from the machine and displayed.

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.

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.