Living through history – help us tell the stories of your communities across West Yorkshire

We are living in extraordinary times and all of us are coming to terms with the changes that the Covid-19 global pandemic has made and continues to make in our lives and in our communities and families.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service is the archive service for all five councils in West Yorkshire and we’ve been collecting, preserving and helping people find out about the stories of West Yorkshire for over 80 years. We have records that tell us about the past and the present – from the 12th century right up to the present day – and right now we need your help to make sure that the story of West Yorkshire at the beginning of the 21st Century is captured.

You can help make sure that the documents and records that will tell future generations about West Yorkshire before, during and after the current health crisis become a permanent part of the story of our county by depositing them with the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

We’re interested in all your stories – big and small, good and bad. They all form part of the ongoing history of the people and places of West Yorkshire and are equally important.

Whether you are keeping a diary – like Anne Lister; or you’re one of the many who have volunteered to help in your community; if you’ve changed the way you run your business or had to change the job you are doing; if you are working hard on the front line in keeping all our essential services going; or helping keep people safe by staying at home, we want to hear your story and talk to you about the records that will help future generations understand what you lived through.


Brochure from Leeds Holidays at Home campaign in 1943: LC/PKS/4/23, WYAS Leeds

From diaries to photographs, letters and emails from family to community group minutes, business accounts and advertising campaigns, home school activity sheets or recipes you’ve created to make the most of a few ingredients all sorts of things will become the archival record of the future, but only if you help us collect them and keep them safe.

“Archives are a unique and irreplaceable heritage passed from one generation to another…They play an essential role…contributing to individual and community memory”. (UNESCO Universal Declaration on Archives, 2011)

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