Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...

St Helens Archive Service

St Helens Archive Service collects, preserves and provides access to unique historic materials that relate to different aspects of life across the borough of St Helens.

Read our mission statement.

Our current archive project

We are currently appealing for the public to donate photographs, diaries and more to help us create a lockdown archive that documents the local effect of the current pandemic. 

Exploring the borough collections

If you would like to explore the list of historical records that we hold in the borough archives, please visit our online catalogue. Each item has a title and reference number, please keep a note of these if you would like to contact us for more information or arrange a visit to view the archives. 

If you need help accessing the catalogue or have a general enquiry, please email us at archives@sthelens.gov.uk or call 01744 671748. 

Visiting the Archive Service

Contact archives@sthelens.gov.uk / 01744 671748 to book an appointment.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 10am-2pm


St Helens Archive Service, The Gamble Building, Victoria Square, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1DY.

Parking and public transport

The Gamble Building is a two-minute walk from Birchley Street Car Park, a two-minute walk from St Helens Bus Station and a five-minute walk from St Helens Central train station.

COVID-19 arrangements

  • You will be met at the door of the Gamble Building at the time of your appointment.
  • Appointments are for one customer per visit (or a maximum two people from the same household).
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines.
  • A face covering is essential (unless you are exempt).
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided; please ensure hands are completely dry before handling documents.
  • Your details are recorded when visiting the Archive Service as standard. Following Government guidelines, the Archive Service has implemented the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ procedure to assist with the control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There are lockers available for your personal belongings.
  • Computer access available
  • Please advise staff when booking an appointment if you have mobility issues and lift access will be arranged.
  • Cash and card payments accepted

Local Studies Facilities

Maps, microfilm records and local studies reference materials are also available at Eccleston and Newton-Le-Willows Libraries. To book an appointment to view the material please contact Eccleston Library (01744 677575) or Newton-Le-Willows Library (01744 677885). 

Free access to Find My Past is available to St Helens Library Service members at any St Helens Library currently offering PC access. Find My Past is also available remotely to St Helens Library members, please email libraries@sthelens.gov.uk to request access.


If you have mobility issues and require lift access, please advise us in advance (there is lift access but a key is required). Limited disabled parking is available outside Wesley House on Corporation Street, approximately 20 yards from the Gamble Building. Alternatively, please contact us to discuss other ways you can access the information you require.

Handling documents

  • Food and drink is not permitted in the search room.
  • Please use a pencil for note taking (no pens).
  • Lockers are available to store bags and heavy coats (not permitted at search room tables).
  • Please follow staff instructions for handling documents.
  • Some items may not be available to be viewed as they are too fragile or are closed to the public; we will advise you of this as soon as possible.

Copying and licensing

  • You may bring a laptop, tablet or camera (no flash).
  • Documents may be photocopied, scanned or digitised in-house.
  • Copyright forms will need to be completed if you make or receive a copy of any item.
  • For those wishing to publish images a licence must be obtained. Permission may not always be given due to copyright or other restrictions.
  • There is no charge to visit and view archive documents. Charges apply for research, reproduction, digitisation or own camera/device.

Remote access

If you would like to view archive documents but cannot visit the Archive Service, please get in touch to discuss our research services for remote access. 

Other resources

St Helens Community Archive is our online visual resource containing over 3,000 photographs, video and audio files contributed by the Archive Service as well as residents from across the borough.



Scanning digitised items (plus printing costs listed below if required)

£7.00 per image (research or private study)

£15.00 per image (non-commercial / editorial / public display)

A4 black and white print / copy (plus cost of scan if required)


A4 colour print / copy (plus cost of scan if required)


A3 black and white print / copy (plus cost of scan if required)


A3 colour print / copy (plus cost of scan if required)


Photography permit (research or private study)

£3.00 per day

£10.00 per week

Research work carried out by staff on your behalf

First 30 minutes is free, then £20.00 per hour


Payment can be made by cheque or card. Card payments can be made over the phone. Cheques should be made payable to: ‘St Helens Council’.

Charges for postal, email or telephone orders may be calculated to include a cost for the time taken for staff to locate and copy material (charged as research fee).

It may not always be possible to provide an accurate quote for the price of research work in advance. Staff will let you know an estimate and advise you if the price is likely to increase. Research information / copies will only be sent once payment has been received.

Updated March 2021