Explore your archives

Posted on 18 November 2018

Add value to your assignments and research by exploring the unique resources, only available here at York, relating to a wide range of academic subjects, held on campus in our archives.

Image of someone using archives material with the wording - Explore your archives - they're unique to York #UoYTips

Rowntree's Aero advert images c1950, By permission of Nestlé UK

You already use the University Library to support your studies and research, but how often do you turn right rather than left once you're through the turnstiles?‌

In the Raymond Burton building, you'll find the Borthwick Institute for Archives with search rooms open Monday to Friday 9:15 - 4:45pm, and a microform room open 24/7, seven days a week. The collections available to our students cover nearly 1,000 years of international history, but it’s not just a resource for historians …

If you're interested in the history of the University, York, or Yorkshire, you'll find a wealth of information in the University's own archives, as well as the archives of local businesses (including Rowntree's, Terry's, and Vickers Instruments), and of prominent local families (including including the Earls of Halifax, the Yarburgh family of Heslington Hall, York, and the Earls of Harewood).

The Borthwick cares for the archives of York NHS Trust. These include the fascinating records of York's Victorian and Edwardian psychiatric hospitals, such as The Retreat, opening a window into a hidden area of public health over the past 150 years, and giving glimpses into the personal tragedies and recoveries of York citizens.

We hold the archive of the Archbishop of York, which dates from the medieval period to the present.

Nunnington Hall

You can explore a vast collection of architectural archives, including the files, plans and drawings of the York-based firm of Atkinson Brierley, the archive of Pace and Sims - designers of many 20th century churches - and of James Russell, a leading 20th century garden designer and horticulturalist.

The Borthwick also holds records collected by the University's former Centre for Southern African studies, including papers relating to South African writers, activists, churchmen and politicians, are now held in the Borthwick.

The Samuel Storey writing and performance collection is a growing collection of playwrights' papers, including those of the dramatist Sir Alan Ayckbourn, comedy writer and broadcaster Barry Took, the TV comedy writers Marks and Gran, and the TV and film screenwriter Charles Wood.

The Archives growing environmental holdings include the archive of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, York and District Field Naturalists Society and Yorkshire Philosophical Society.

The team of Archivists and Archive Assistants can help you find the resources relevant to your work, and enable you to access them. Explore the full extent of our holdings, and find out how you can use them:

Search our social media for more #UoYTips.

Find out more about the national Explore your Archive campaign, and search #ExploreArchives on social media.


Rowntree's Aero advert images c1950, by permission of Nestlé UK.