Archivists makes their own history with office move

THE Leeds office of the West Yorkshire Archive Service will make history of its own this month when it moves from its Sheepcar home to an improved facility at Morley.

Relocating from its base of over 40 years, in what was originally the Sheepscar Branch Library, the Leeds office of West Yorkshire Archive Service will move its impressive archive at the end of this month, safeguarding the documents for future generations.

The new facility boasts improved public access and specialist storage areas for the delicate and important historical documents.

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The Sheepscar office will close to the public permanently on August 20 and re-open its archives in November at the existing West Yorkshire Joint Services Headquarters in Morley, Leeds.

A need for much higher standards for the storage of archives and a lack of disability access, combined with a deteriorating building resulted in The National Archives (TNA) insisting on urgently finding alternative accommodation or facing the consequences of losing its recognition as a official place of deposit for archives.

A spokesman for the Archive Service said: “The facilities, currently being completed at Morley, include an accessible public search room and an archive storage facility with improved storage, handling facilities and environmental conditions.

“The move will result in much better storage conditions for the Leeds collections and a significantly improved experience for visitors.”

Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services, which oversees the work of the Archive Service, said: “The move of archive collections to the new Leeds Archive office at Morley will open up access and secure the historic records of Leeds for future generations.”

Councillor Neil Taggart, chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of the Archive Service, said: “Collections previously inaccessible to disabled users will now be freely available at the new Leeds Archive office, with state-of-the-art storage ensuring the archives are kept to high standards.”

Further information can be found on the West Yorkshire Archive Service’s website at www.archives.wyjs.org.uk