Category Archives: Catalogues

Working with the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record

West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) have been working with our colleagues in the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record [WYHER] to host a large proportion of their catalogues on our online catalogue so that researchers can find out even more information about local places and buildings of historical interest.

Post-Medieval Bell Pits, Bentley Grange PRN58
Post-Medieval Bell Pitts at Bentley Grange [WYHER/58]

Staff at WYAS have added over 9000 entries onto their online catalogue describing records held by the WYHER. There is also an online display to highlight some of the many amazing historic sites they have surveyed over the years.

Shibden Hall PRN 2680
Shibden Hall [WYHER/2680]

The West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service holds and curates the West Yorkshire Historic Environment Record (HER), which is a publicly accessible record for West Yorkshire’s archaeology and built heritage. They are based at the Registry of Deeds in Wakefield, and hold records on a range of archaeological sites, historic buildings, artefacts, and historic landscapes ranging from the Prehistoric period right through to the 20th century.

Stuart Wrathmell, Heritage Manager at West Yorkshire Joint Services says of the joint project:

“We’re always looking at ways of improving our services to people who wish to explore West Yorkshire’s heritage, and Jenny and Pat from Archives, together with Ros and Jason from Archaeology, have done a fantastic job in adding over 9,000 entries from the Historic Environment Record – the record of West Yorkshire’s archaeological sites and landscapes, and its historic buildings – to the online Archives catalogue. Now, for the first time, people can go to one website to find all the different kinds of records we hold on thousands of places and buildings in the county.”

To find out more about any of the sites shown on this website, or to do any further research into the archaeology of the area, please contact West Yorkshire HER via 01924 306797 or Alternatively, you can also search their records online via Heritage Gateway (, or follow them on Facebook (


Project Launched!

The Nostell Priory & Winn Family Cataloguing Project is finally underway!

This project has been funded by The National Archives’ Cataloguing Grants Programme and aims to fully catalogue one of West Yorkshire Archive Service’s most treasured and well used collections. The project will run until the end of April 2014 when a much improved catalogue will be available to greatly increase access and understanding of the records of Nostell Priory & the Winn family.

Project background

Sections of the Nostell Priory & Winn family archive have been held by WYAS in one form or another since the late 1980s. The bulk of the collection was first loaned to the service by the Winn family who wanted to preserve the records in the best possible environment while also making them available to researchers wanting to study this extensive and important collection. Since then, the size of the collection has increased dramatically as new sets of records have been discovered at Nostell and other related sites, and then added to the existing collection.

Unfortunately the rather chaotic nature of the collection’s history has also been reflected in the existing catalogue, with some sections of very detailed descriptions followed by large sections of completely uncatalogued material. At the end of 2007 WYAS acquired the vast majority of the records outright and the collection has been awaiting a concerted project to highlight the true value and extent of this unique collection ever since. Cue the Cataloguing Grants Fund bid!

Nostell Priory (General View), Yorkshire, The Seat of Charles Winn Esq. Engraving by J Neale, 1829 (WYL1352-C3-1-4-[1060])

Nostell Priory (General View), Yorkshire, The Seat of Charles Winn Esq. Engraving by J Neale, 1829 (WYL1352-C3-1-4-[1060])

A long way to go

With the project only a month in we’ve certainly got a long way to go. The first task has been trying to get our heads around the sheer size and scale of a collection that covers over 800 years of international history and takes up roughly 14 cubic meters of oversized archive boxes! And the collection is no less ambitious in the range of subjects and themes that it documents, including: kings, queens, lords, barons, servants, sheriffs, tenants, MPs, communities, art, architecture, design, furniture, fashion, food & drink, politics, war, sports, shopping, churches, schools, hospitals, medicine, railways, mining and genealogy… the list goes on and on!

The Nostell Collection in the stores at WYAS, both exciting & daunting!

The Nostell Collection in the stores at WYAS, both exciting & daunting!

What to expect over the coming months

So now that the project is underway, what can you expect to see from us? Well first and foremost the project is totally focused on creating an excellent catalogue of the entire collection which will be fully available on the WYAS online catalogue by the end of the project in April. But amongst the hours and hours… and hours! of cataloguing we will also be finding time to promote the project and this fantastic collection. You can follow the progress of the team and discover the rich history inherent to the collection on the project’s dedicated Twitter account Here we’ll be keeping you up to date on all our exciting finds, tweeting on the theme of #onthisday in Nostell history, and letting you know the details of all our outreach events. So please give us a follow and drop us a message on all things Nostell, Winn, or just to say hi!

So we’re up and running! Remember to keep checking the @nostellarchive twitter account for all developments as and when they happen and we’ll keep you informed with future blog posts on here as well.

Diamond Jubilee display sparkles at WYAS

To mark the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, West Yorkshire Archive Service has created a display to celebrate jubilees and royal events in our districts.

Coronation souvenir booklet produced by Shipley UDC [Ref: WYB287/1/17]

Coronation souvenir booklet produced by Shipley UDC [Ref: WYB287/1/17]

 Local schools, societies and clubs organised events in their areas with the help of the local authorities and fund raising became one of the focuses of the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Certificate of fundraising for the Silver Jubilee from Beckett Park Middle School, Leeds [Ref:LC/ED/165/13]

Souvenirs such as mugs, books and pencils were produced and given to schoolchildren as a keepsake – perhaps you still have yours?

Are you planning on holding your own celebrations to mark the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee? Perhaps you remember attending the celebrations of the previous jubilees or can recall the Coronation Day?

Visit of Princess Elizabeth to County Hall, Wakefield July 1949 [Ref: WRD1/box60]

WYAS display will be shown in each of our district offices for the duration of June.  Why not pop along and take a look? It could bring back some memories!

For further information on this or any other display produced by WYAS, please contact the Collections Team.

Wallace Hartley: One of the musicians who ‘played on’ as the Titanic sank

One hundred years ago families and friends of those who died aboard the Titanic were trying to come to terms with the dreadful loss of life.  Amongst the passengers who perished was Wallace Hartley who, at the time of his death was living in Dewsbury and was a member of the Leeds Professional Musicians.  Wallace was one of the eight band members who famously played their instruments as the ship was sinking to ‘entertain’ the passengers as they attempted to board lifeboats.  Mr Hartley and all of the other seven orchestra members died that day.

A piece of artwork has recently been displayed at Leeds Art Gallery to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Mr Hartley, a piece that was purchased in July 1912 by the Library and Arts Committee with a cheque given to them by the “Wallace Hartley” Memorial Fund Committee.  The donation was to enable the city to purchase a suitable picture for Leeds Art Gallery for their permanent collection.  That suitable picture was by F Cayley Robinson and was entitled “Outward Bound”.

Minute taken from the Leeds City Council Annual Reports of Committees, December 1912 (reference LL8/1/1/35). 

Outward Bound can be seen on the Leeds Art Gallery website 

For more information on those who died in the tragedy, includingWallace Hartley, have a look at the National Archives website where you can access the ship’s passenger lists and many other resources which shed light on that terrible day.