York City Archives

York Minster South Side.  c. 1890.  Library of CongressYork Minster South Side. c. 1890. Library of Congress

York City Archives has an extensive collection of resources covering over 800 years of York history.

The earliest document is from City of York Council and its predecessors and dates from 1155, and is held in the civic archive.  The Archive is an Accredited Archive Service.

The Archive cares for over 68000 books, historic newspapers and maps relating to the city of York and its surrounding area.  

If you have documents you would like to donate to the Archive, they would be very pleased to hear from you.

Whether you want to research the history of your local community, conduct research for a school, college or university assignment, discover more about the history of a house or research your family history, you may find a document relating to the topic you are interested in.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help if you require assistance.

If you have any documents relating to the history of York 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 York City Archives


York City Archives
Archives and Local History
York Explore Library
Learning Centre
Museum Street 
YO1 7DS 

Telephone Number:

01904 552800 




Numerous books, newspapers and maps covering the city and neighbouring areas are available in the Archive. For more information about their opening hours and collections, please visit their Home Page and peruse their online catalogue.

The Civic Archive holds records from City of York Council and its predecessors, dating from 1155.

Approximately 4000 photographs of York people, places and events can be accessed through their database Imagine York, which can be very valuable if you are researching family history or wish to learn more about your local area.

Location and Directions

The Archives is situated on the first floor of York Explore Library Learning Centre. They are approximately ten minutes walk from York railway station.  

If travelling by bus, bus routes 1 and 2 stop near the Archive.  If travelling by car, a car park is available at the building.


It is prudent to book before visiting to avoid disappointment, especially if you are travelling a long distance.

Photography and Photocopying

You are allowed to take copies of documents, but you must buy a reprographics licence and fill in a copyright declaration form.

You can use your own camera in the Office.


The first set of doors providing access to the building are 150cm (4ft 11in) wide, and and are permanently open.  The second set of doors are 150cm (4ft 11in) wide, and are permanently held open.  They are both double doors.

Once you have gone through these doors, you go through a third set of doors, the width of which is 116cm.

A ramp is also provided to access the main entrance to the building, which has handrails on both sides.

Once inside the building, there is level access to the reception desk, which is of medium height, but the desk has a low section, and a hearing assistance system is installed, which staff are trained to use.  Seating is also available at the reception desk.  Motorised scooters are allowed in all public parts of the venue.

A lift is also available for use by visitors.  The door width of the lift is 80cm (2ft 7in), the dimensions of the lift being 110cm x 140cm (3ft 7in x 4ft 7in).  A visual floor indicator is installed in the lift, and it does have an audible announcer.  It does not, however, have any Braille markings.

The reception desk in the Archives and Local History room is 110cm high, but does have a low section, which is 76cm from the ground.  No hearing assistance system is installed at this desk.  Seating is available opposite the desk.

A disabled toilet is avaialble, but it part of the main toilet facilities; the building does not have separate toilets for disabled people.  The toilet is a unisex toilet and is 160cm x 236cm (5ft 3in x 7ft 9in) in size.

Other Facilities

They have an archives reading room, a family history room, and a local history room. Free internet access is available in all these areas.


A cafe is located within York Explore where sandwiches, salads, hot food, homemade cakes and hot and cold drinks are available.  The cafe is situated to the right of the library room.  Foods and drinks can be ordered from the service counter, but the counter does have a low section.  Tables and chairs are accessible, some of which have armrests.  Some of the tables are 76cm from the ground.  A wheelchair user has plenty of room to move throughout the cafe.  Menus are not available in large print or Braille, but they are written clearly.

Smaller meals are also available for children.  Rowntree Park Reading Cafe is also available in Rowntree Park Lodge, Richardson Street.


May items are available for sale in York Explore shop.

Research Service

If you are unable to visit in person, the Office are able to look up some details for you, but they are not able to conduct comprehensive research.  If you require someone to conduct more extensive research, the Office provides a list of research agents, who, for a fee, can conduct research on your behalf.

For details of other Record Offices in North Yorkshire, please view my pages regarding North Yorkshire Record Office and Teesside Archives.

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