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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.

St Helens Archive Service has been awarded Archive Service Accreditation by The National Archives; the UK standard for archive services.

  Accredited Archive Service

Exploring the archives

If you would like to explore the database of historical records that we hold in the borough archives, please visit our online catalogue.

Read guidance on how to use our online catalogue. If you need additional help accessing the catalogue or have a general enquiry, please contact us using the details below.

Visiting the Archive Service

If you would like to view items from the archive in-person, please first consult the online catalogue making a note of the title and reference number of any items you are interested in. Contact the Archive Service to book an appointment during the hours below:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

10am – 2pm

COVID-19 arrangements

  • We recommend that you follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask whilst inside the Gamble Building.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided; please ensure hands are dry before handling archival items.
  • You will be asked to sign in upon arrival. For those using NHS Track and Trace, QR codes are available inside the entrance to the Gamble Building as well as within the Search Room.

Contact details

Email: archives@sthelens.gov.uk
Phone: 01744 671748

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.


Please advise staff when booking an appointment if you have any accessibility requirements. Limited disabled parking is available outside Wesley House on Corporation Street, approximately 20 metres from the Gamble Building.

Handling documents

  • Food and drink are not permitted in the Search Room.
  • Please ensure your hands are clean and dry before handling documents.
  • Pens are not permitted in the Search Room. Please use a pencil or device for notetaking.
  • Bags and heavy coats are not permitted at Search Room tables and must be stored in the lockers provided.
  • Please follow staff instructions for handling documents and ask for advice if ever unsure.
  • Some items may not be available for access as they are too fragile or are closed to the public; where this is the case, we will advise you as soon as possible.

Fees and charges

  • There is no charge to visit and view archive documents.
  • Charges do apply for research services, reproduction, digitisation services, and use of your own camera/device.
  • For details of our fees and charges, see the drop down menu at the bottom of the page.

Copying and licensing

  • You may use a camera to photograph items in the Search Room. If doing so, you must not use the flash and will be asked to complete a copyright form.
  • You must complete a copyright form if making or receiving an image or copy of any item.
  • For those wishing to publish images, a licence must be obtained. Please speak to staff if you intend to publish any images taken of Archive items as copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Remote access

If you would like to view items but cannot visit in person, please get in touch to discuss our research services for remote access.

Other resources

St Helens Community Archive is our online outreach resource containing over 4,000 photographs, video and audio files contributed by the Archive Service as well as by residents from across the borough.

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 material, please contact Eccleston Library (01744 677575) or Newton-Le-Willows Library (01744 677885) directly. 

Free access to Find My Past is available to St Helens Library Service members at any St Helens Library currently offering PC access.

Current archive projects

St Helens Oral History Project

As part of an exciting new project, St Helens Archive Service is interviewing borough residents to help preserve local memories, thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

These recordings will become a permanent part of the archives, reflecting the different communities that call the borough home and ensuring that stories and voices are preserved for future generations.

Appeal for Records

We are appealing for the public to donate photographs, diaries and more to help us create a lockdown archive that documents the local effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. 



High quality digitisation (Scans of photographs, negatives, or other record types - not including printing fees)

  • Research or private study
  • Non-commercial / editorial / public display

£5 handling fee per order plus

£2 per digitisation

£15 per digitisation

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 cash, 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 September 2021