Wakefield Archive Service

Westgate, Wakefield.  c. 1900.Westgate, Wakefield. c. 1900.

Wakefield Archive Service has over 10 million documents dating from 1194 to the present day and is the third largest authority archive in Great Britain.  

They also hold records relating to Stanley Royd Mental Health Hospital, which now has international status as part of UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.

Other resources held by the Archive include business records, documents, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and photographs.

Whether you are researching your family history, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, studying local history, or are interested in discovering the history of a house, you will find the resources held of use.  

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

if you have any documents relating to the history of Wakefield that you would like to donate to the Archive to preserve them for future generations, they would love to hear from you.

Contact Information for Wakefield Archive Service


West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield 
Wakefield Archive Service
West Yorkshire History Centre
127 Kirkgate

E-Mail Address:



For information about Wakefield Archives' collections and opening hours, please visit their Home Page, and peruse their online catalogue, which has details of their holdings.

Collections available at the Archive include the West Riding Registry of Deeds, which contain the extracts of over 7 million property transactions covering 1704 to 1970.  

They also have the National Coal Board collection, which relates to collieries and coal miners in Wakefield and South Leeds areas.

Location and Directions

If using a sat nav, their post code is WF1 1JG.  Parking is not available at West Yorkshire History Centre, but a pay and display car park is accessible in Brunswick Street.

The Archive is approximately 5 minutes walk from Wakefield Kirkgate Railway Station, and nearly 20 minutes walk from Wakefield Westgate Railway Station.


Making an appointment is advisable before visiting because the search-room might be unexpectedly closed because of staffing difficulties.  If you wish to look at original documents, making an appointment is essential because they must be ordered in advance.

It is also best to tell Wakefield Archives' staff what records you wish to analyse because staff will then be able to inform you if you need to book a computer, microfiche reader or table.  You should also tell them the date and approximate time you wish to visit.


The Office has disabled access.  Disabled toilets are also available.

Hearing loops are also available in the Office.

Computers and Wi-Fi

You can use your own laptop in the Office, with many power points being provided throughout the searchroom.  

Many computers providing access to the internet are accessible in the searchroom.  


You are allowed to take your own photographs of documents, but must purchase a photography permit before taking any photographs. 

Some documents cannot be photographed because of copyright laws and/or because they are fragile and easily damaged.  It is best to speak to a member of staff before taking any photographs.  You also have to complete a personal photography form.


A snack vending machine and hot and cold drinks machines are available in their rest area, where you are also welcome to eat your own food if you wish.

Eating establishments are available in Wakefield town centre, which is approximately 15 minutes walk (¾ mile) from the Archive.

Research Service

If you are unable to visit in person, they offer a research service.

Group Talks

If a group or organisation wishes to learn more about the Office and its services, talks are available where they explain the work carried out in the Archive and raise awareness of their collections.

Readers' Tickets

Wakefield Records Office is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

For further information regarding Record Offices in Yorkshire, please visit my pages regarding Barnsley Archives, Bradford Archives, Calderdale Archives, Doncaster Archives, Kirklees Archives, Leeds Archives and Sheffield City Archives.

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