Wolverhampton City Archives exists to collect, preserve and make accessible historical records relating to the City of Wolverhampton, and to secure significant modern records for future generations.
Documents available include books, maps, plans; over 30,000 photographs; records of local churches, schools and other institutions; records of the city council and its predecessors; and records of local industries, clubs and societies. Please allow 30 minutes before closing time if you wish to consult documents that need to be retrieved from the repository.
We also hold records for family historians, including newspapers, census returns, probate records and electoral registers. For these records, it is advisable to book a microfilm or microfiche viewer in advance of your visit. A selection of microform viewers is available, some with printing facilities. There is a wide range of magnifications spread across the machines. A number of machines have extra room around them to accommodate wheelchairs or a helper. A height-adjustable table suitable for wheelchair users is also available.
Please note pens are not allowed in the search rooms, please bring a pencil with you to make notes.
Much of the collection has been catalogued and brief information about individual items is available to search on this website, see the Collections/Local History section and the Family History Research page for more information.
Reader’s Tickets: The old CARN cards will no longer be supported after 31 March 2020, so please sign up for the new card sooner rather than later. The system is available online, so you can register before your next visit: http://www.archivescard.com
The staff of Wolverhampton City Archives are able to undertake limited research in response to specific enquiries. There is a charge for this service. The charge is made to cover the time taken to undertake the research, not the results of the search. For this reason, the fee must be paid in advance and cannot be refunded if the search is unsuccessful.
Please use the Archives Postal Research Order Form to request this service detailing specifically what information you would like us to try and find out for you. Please give us as many details as you can about the questions you would like us to answer. Accurate dates, locations and names are helpful and will improve our chances of success. Once the research has been completed, you will receive a letter from us indicating which sources we have checked and what relevant information has been found. Photocopies of relevant extracts will be supplied where appropriate, normally at no extra cost.
A maximum of two hours research only can be undertaken in the manuscript, printed or microform sources held by Wolverhampton City Archives. Unfortunately it is not possible for staff to undertake non-specific enquiries of a general or lengthy nature. If you are unsure whether your enquiry can be taken on please contact us. If we are unable to help, we will send you a list of local record searchers who may be able to undertake work of this kind.
Please note that access to records of a confidential nature is restricted and that these cannot, therefore, be consulted in answer to your enquiry without a letter of authority. Documents which are in the process of being repaired or listed might also be unavailable for consultation.
Fees and Charges: Our fees and charges are currently under review, for further information please contact the Archives directly
Learning: We are happy to give talks and tours to local groups on all aspects of Wolverhampton’s history, and also to provide resources for use in schools and for other educational purposes. Please contact us for further details.
Depositing and Donating Items: If you have any documents, photographs, film and sound recordings or electronic records that you would like to preserve at the archives, please contact the City Archivist. Our Acquisitions Policy is available on request.