Elsewhere in England for most of the counties you will find a County Record Office, sometimes with "sub-offices". In Yorkshire however the situation is anything but simple, not helped by the change in 1974. Prior to 1974 there were simply the 3 Ridings and York (and these Genuki Yorkshire pages are laid out in that system). After 1974 the overall administrative boundaries of Yorkshire changed, as did the internal boundaries and Yorkshire became North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Humberside, and part of Cleveland with bits of Yorkshire being "given" to County Durham and Lancashire. Since 1974, things have changed yet again but not so drastically. If you are unfortunate enough to be looking for records in the parts that have changed you may have difficulty!
There are county record offices for North Yorkshire (not the same as the old North Riding) and the modern East Riding (was North Humberside and not the same as the old East Riding). West Yorkshire (not the same as the West Riding) has all of its records united. Both Kingston upon Hull and York (which is now in North Yorkshire) have City Archives. For South Yorkshire (the southern part of the old West Riding) has its archive services provided by the four district councils independently.
Additionally there are two institutions which hold archives for the whole of the old Yorkshire: The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research of the University of York, and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS). All of the above services are listed below, along with a few others:
- The East Riding of Yorkshire Archives Service exists to collect, preserve and make available to the public the historic records of the East Riding. The Archives Service holds over 10,000 linear feet of documents dating from the 12th century to the present day. These records contain information about every community in the East Riding and cover a wide range of subjects.
- The North Yorkshire County Record Office collects, preserves, and makes available a wealth of archive material relating to the history of the county of North Yorkshire. They hold millions of documents all shapes, sizes and ages which can be used to obtain information for many personal, legal, administrative and historical purposes including tracing ancestors and family history and genealogy. They maintain an online catalogue of descriptions of most of their documents.
- The West Yorkshire Archive Service (West Yorkshire County Record Office) exists to preserve the county's heritage of historical documents and to help members of the public make use of them. They have an on-line catalogue covering all five of their offices.
- The York City Archives are open 9.00 am till 5.00pm Monday to Friday closed for lunch 1.00pm till 2.00pm.
They hold the corporation records covering approximately 800 years, and there are no charges for researchers visiting the archives, and no appointment is necessary.
- Hull City Archives hold a wealth of information, covering the rich and varied fortunes of the city. The collections include non-conformist churches, local families, municipal cemeteries and records of the courts. In addition they hold unique photographs many of which are now accessible online via their historical photographs database.
- South Yorkshire
- The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research is at the University of York.
- The Yorkshire Archaeological Society exists to promote the study of Yorkshire's historical past - agriculture, archaeology, architecture, history, industry, religion and the people of the historic county.
- Brynmor Jones Library Archives and Manuscripts (Hull University): (includes Family and estate papers, and Solicitors' archives)
- The Friends of Teesside Archives exists to promote and assist Teesside Archives and to promote conservation of documents etc in the Cleveland county area. Its volunteers, among other things, help with the indexing of parish records, rate books, electoral rolls and other records of interest to family and local historians.
- The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (now National Archives) has a most useful Web-site which has searchable databases containing information on where collections of archives can be found. The search can be by people, places or Companies.It also has on-line a Manorial Documents Register for England which, although not complete, does cover the whole of Yorkshire.
- The Yorkshire Film Archive Online has lots of old films on-line, such as the Climmers at Bempton, Queen Victoria in Sheffield, Country Potters, etc. etc.