A Guide for Students visiting the Archives
Are you a student planning to carry out research using original archive material? If so we can help.
The West Yorkshire Archive Service is a local authority archive serving the five authorities in West Yorkshire.
We hold records of:
- • Local Authorities
- • Churches
- • Businesses
- • Organisations
- • Local political parties
- • Local families and estates
- • Medical facilities
- • Workhouses
- • Police and Prisons
Getting the most from your visit
Get in touch early
Remember that working to assignment deadlines means that you need to contact us well in advance of the date your work need to be handed in.
If you leave it too late we may not be able to help you. It will make your visit run more smoothly if we can book you a space and make you aware of what catalogues and records you may need to ask for.
Appointments are recommended
Some of our collections are held offsite and need to be retrieved from our out stores and therefore can only be viewed by prior arrangement.
Our search rooms can also get very busy and we have had to turn away people in the past who have not made an appointment.
Check that we hold what you need
We can search our catalogues for free and advise you of what we hold or if anything useful may be held at another repository. Do contact us in advance to check that we can help with your research.
Copies may not be possible
Depending on the condition of the document and potential copyright restrictions, it is not always possible to copy a record. Please check when arranging your visit and ask staff for advice if you do find something you would like copying.
Access restrictions may apply
Some of the collections that we hold as a Service include information of a sensitive nature and we may be obliged to restrict access to this material. Examples of the type of records which may be subject to access restrictions are hospital records, court and prison records or reformatory records, amongst others.
If you can make us aware of what you would like to view, we can sometimes make special arrangements to lift access restrictions for the purposes of educational research. Please ask about this option when you make an appointment.
It is important to remember that archives held at the offices of the West Yorkshire Archive Service are unique and often irreplaceable. This means some items may have special viewing conditions.
Search room guidelines
We hope all researchers have an enjoyable visit to our offices but it is worth remembering that there are some regulations in place to ensure the safety of the records that we hold and a comfortable environment for you to work in. These include:
- • Handling all documents with care and not leaning on them or marking them.
- • Keeping any loose items in order and asking a member of staff if you need help to re-package a bundle.
- • Using pencils when making notes.
- • Not eating or drinking in the search room (including chewing gum and cough sweets).
- • Restricting discussions to the refreshment or foyer areas to respect your fellow researchers.
- • Turning all mobile phones, pagers and laptops to silent whilst in the search room.
Remember: We are here to help
Please feel free to download this leaflet to support your visit to the archives