Barnsley Archives and Local Studies

Cheapside, Barnsley: 1904Cheapside, Barnsley: 1904

Barnsley Archives and Local Studies was first established in 1987 and is dedicated to preserving the history of the borough of Barnsley.  

They hold records relating to the history of the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley collected from individuals, families, local businesses and organisations. 

Records include Barnsley Business and Professional Women Records.

Records date from the 12th century to the present day and are stored on many different kinds of medium.

These records include CDs, documents, electronic documents, files, manuscripts, maps, microfilms, photographs and social and industrial history collections.  

Many fascinating books relating to numerous subjects are also accessible at the Office.  

The Office also has many family activities, which include after-school clubs, lectures and talks.

Whether you are researching your family history, in the midst of a legal dispute, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, studying the history of your local area or are researching the history of your house, you will find the documents held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions on require assistance.

Contact Information for Barnsley Archives and Local Studies


Barnsley Archives and Local Studies
Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
Town Hall
Church Street
S70 2TA

Telephone Number:

01226 773950



For details regarding the collections held at Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre, please visit their collections page.  Their collections include:

  • Anglican Church Records
  • Birth, marriage and death indexes
  • Business records
  • Cemetery records
  • Census returns
  • Electoral registers and Poll Books
  • Family and estate records

Collections also include:

  • Maps and plans
  • Methodist and nonconformist records
  • Newspapers and periodicals
  • Parish council records
  • Photographs and illustrations
  • Police records
  • School and education records
  • Street and trade directories

These archives tell Barnsley's history from prehistoric times to the present.  An online catalogue is also available, and although it does not yet include full details of their collections, it is being added to weekly.  Paintings, drawings, ceramics, glass, metalwork and furniture are accessible in the Cooper Gallery and Cannon Hall Museum.  You are advised to contact them if you cannot find the item you are seeking in the catalogue.

Barnsley Archives and Local Studies now has a digital newspaper Archive that contains digital issues of the Barnsley Chronicle, dating back to 1858.  This new collection can be searched by keyword, so you will no longer have to go through the newspapers page by page.

Other newspapers are in the process of being made more accessible, with new microfilm scanners with touchscreen monitors being made available to make the newspapers easier to access and view.  

You can also view the British Newspaper Archive at the Office, which includes details of newspapers from England, Wales and Scotland, dating back to the 18th century.  Newspapers are a very useful resource for the family historian because you may find information about your ancestors in the paper.

I have experience of this because through looking at a newspaper, I was able to discover my illegitimate ancestor's father's name.

Advance booking is required

It is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you have travelled a long distance, because the Office can become very busy.  Some records are held off-site, so it best to ensure they have what you need before visiting.

Location and Directions

Barnsley Records Office is situated in Barnsley town centre, and is a short walk from the transport interchange and railway station, which is easily accessible from Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Sheffield.  

If travelling by car, there are numerous car parks near to Experience Barnsley. These car parks are:

  • Churchfield S70 2DQ
  • County Way S70 2JW
  • Graham's Orchard S70 2ST
  • St Mary's Place S70 2DP
  • Westgate S70 2DL


Barnsley Archives and Local Studies is fully accessible, with two lifts available and two disabled toilets.  Two wheelchairs are also provided for visitors' use, which you can book in advance if desired.  Many of the films held by the Archive are subtitled or captioned.

The Museum and Town Hall have dementia friendly signs, the museum aiming to become a Dementia Friendly organisation.

Many films are subtitled and captioned for those with impaired hearing.  There are many audio displays throughout the museum.

Registering for a Reader's Ticket

You are required to register as a user on your first visit, so you have to take two forms of identification showing your address, which could be a passport, driving licence, council tax bill or any other bill.

Twitter Account

The Archive's Twitter Account is accessible at @BarnsArchives.  Many details about the Office are provided on their Twitter Account, including information regarding their colourised prisoner photos.

For further information regarding other Record Offices in Yorkshire, please visit my pages relating to Bradford ArchivesCalderdale ArchivesDoncaster ArchivesKirklees ArchivesLeeds ArchivesSheffield Archives and Wakefield Archives.

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