Launch of a digital goldmine: York’s Archbishops’ Registers online for first time

Posted on 29 February 2016

The University of York will, on 1 March, launch a website that makes one of the most important collections of historical materials to survive in England today available online.

Providing free access to over 20,000 images of Registers produced by Archbishops of York from 1225-1650, the new website also features a growing searchable index of names, subjects, places and organisations.

The York Registers, handwritten on over 10,000 individual parchment folios, are one of the earliest,largest and longest locally-produced series of archives from the medieval and early modern periods.

Starting fifty years before corresponding examples for the Archbishops of Canterbury, they are unparalleled in Europe.

Recording activity across the whole of the North of England, the Registers provide unique insights into ecclesiastical, political and cultural history over a period that witnessed the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation and the English Civil War.  

Funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, the digitisation project took 15 months, with specialist conservation and imaging work undertaken at the University’s Borthwick Institute for Archives, and technical development carried out by the University of York Digital Library.

The Registers can be found at For more information about the project, click here