Celebrating new chapter at Leeds’s historic archives

Archivist Carl Kenneally with a deed concerning land near Leeds Bridge from King Henry VIII (1536-37).
Archivist Carl Kenneally with a deed concerning land near Leeds Bridge from King Henry VIII (1536-37).
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Hundreds of years of Leeds history are on display as part of a day of celebrations today. (Nov 27)

Historians will be opening up the stores in the Leeds Archive and giving visitors a rare chance to see its treasures.

The event marks the first anniversary of the archive’s move to its current home in Morley.

Special activities on offer include behind-the-scenes tours, the chance to meet expert conservators who care for the historic documents and exhibitions of unique original archives.

The event is part of the national ‘Explore Your Archive campaign’, which encourages people to visit their archive and discover the stories, facts, places and people at the heart of their communities.

Councillor Bill Urry, of the Archives, Archaeology and Trading Standards Committee which oversees the facility, said: “Visiting an archive can take you on an adventure – you may end up discovering much more than you imagined.

“Archives are full of fascinating content to read, touch and explore, which isn’t available from Google.

“Take time to explore archives – come along to this event and take a rare behind-the-scenes tour to see where almost 1,000 years of Leeds history is stored, as well as taking a closer look at some of the amazing treasures from Leeds’s past.”

Millions of historic documents and 14,500 boxes bursting with maps, wills, baptism records and estate collections were moved from the original archives in Sheepscar last year to the new site, due to the deteriorating building and a need for better public access and storage.

Tours of the new stores at the archives on Nepshaw Lane South will take place at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm and booking is essential by contacting leeds@wyjs.org.uk or 0113 393 9788.

West Yorkshire Joint Services, which manages the archive is funded by the Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils.

Visit the website at: www.archives.wyjs.org.uk