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

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WYAS, Wakefield Office

West Yorkshire History Centre

127 Kirkgate



Email: wakefield@wyjs.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0)113 535 3040

Opening hours

West Yorkshire History Centre is open to view original records three days per week and our exhibition space is open for four days a week. It is recommended that you book an appointment and order documents in advance.  Please do not travel to our building without having received confirmation of your booking.

Open days:

Mondays 10am - 4pm 

Tuesdays 10am - 4pm 

Thursdays 10am – 4pm 

Please email wakefield@wyjs.org.uk to arrange to book an available appointment time. 



Please contact us by telephone 0113 535 3040 or by email wakefield@wyjs.org.uk to make an appointment. 

It may not be possible to retrieve all of the items you request for one appointment. Depending on the nature and size of the collections, the space available in the search room, and staff availability we may need to limit the number of documents you can request. Staff will advise you, at the time of booking, whether any document restrictions apply.

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. 



  • We have a hot and cold water facility along with coffee and tea options for a small donation. There are cafés and shops within walking distance 
  • The reception area is open over the lunch time period 
  • Public lockers are provided and are token operated 
  • An accessible toilet is 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 [4 Brunswick St, Wakefield WF1 4PW].

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.