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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 


  Accredited Archive Service

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

Please email us at archives@sthelens.gov.uk or call 01744 671748 to book an appointment. The Search Room is open for appointments during the hours below:

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

  • Visits are by appointment only as space within the Search Room is limited.
  • You will be met at the door of the Gamble Building at the time of your appointment.
  • 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 your hands are completely dry before handling archival items.
  • You will be asked to sign in upon arrival as an Archive Service user. 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.
  • All bags and any personal belongings not required when consulting items must be left in the lockers provided within the Search Room.
  • Computer access is available for users of the Search Room.
  • Cash and card payments are accepted.
  • Please advise staff when booking an appointment if you have any accessibility requirements.

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.


If you have any accessibility requirements or would like to speak to someone about available equipment and facilities, please get in touch. 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.

Copying and licensing

  • 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.
  • 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 the Archive in person, 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