Free entry Family friendly
The West Yorkshire History Centre is home to the Wakefield office of West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS).
The West Yorkshire History Centre is home to one of the largest collections of records in the country covering the old West Riding of Yorkshire, the current county of West Yorkshire and the Wakefield district.
The West Yorkshire History Centre is free to visit, there is an exhibition space displaying items from their collections, a learning zone for schools and events and a search room with free access to ancestry on public computers.
WYAS are the county archive service for West Yorkshire. They have five offices in Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale. WYAS are part of West Yorkshire Joint Services who are jointly funded by the five borough councils in West Yorkshire.
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.
WYAS aims to collect and permanently preserve the unique documentary history of West Yorkshire. WYAS hold records dating from the twelfth century through to present day – that is over 800 years of history! With five offices situated around West Yorkshire WYAS can help you:
- Discover your family history
- Learn about your local area
- Care for your history and collections
The 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.
Venue opening hours
Monday : 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday : 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday : Closed
Thursday : 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday : 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed
- Accessible Car Parking
- Accessible Toilet
- Assistance Dogs Welcome
- Baby Changing Facilities
- Wheelchair Accessible