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Local History

Local history collections held at Heritage Quay help to explore the diverse history of life within the Huddersfield area and beyond.

Delve into our vast libraries of published material relating to the Kirklees district, the West Riding of Yorkshire and the wider region,
or examine the workings of local businesses or building projects by exploring collections such as the Buildings of Huddersfield Project
, or the archive of Hopkinsons Limited.

We hold an extensive collection of Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire) material, containing over 25,000 printed items and manuscripts
relating to Yorkshire Methodism. A complement to this is the Scholes Monahan Archive, which reflects the experiences and travels of a
family of Methodist faith from the 19th to the 20th century.

As well as holding analogue collections exploring individual family histories, we also provide access to digital oral history collections
covering the experience of first-generation settlers and migration to Huddersfield. Exploring topics such as work, friendship, and a sense
of belonging, the White Line Project Archive, The Windrush Archive, and the Asian Voices Oral History Project Archive, provide a unique
perspective of life in the area.

Links to our Local History collections are listed below in alphabetical order:



If you’re interested in local history relating to Kirklees, we recommend that you also contact the West Yorkshire Archive Service and the Kirklees Local Studies Library. A large amount of material can also be found on the Huddersfield Exposed website.

The following websites may be useful:

West Yorkshire Archive Services:

The West Yorkshire Archive Service collects and looks after the unique documentary heritage of the region. They have five district offices in Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, and Wakefield.

The collections they hold are extremely varied and range from Parish Church records to Trade Union and Hospital Records. They are particularly useful for investigating your family history or the local history of an area. They also hold the West Riding Registry of Deeds, a valuable resource for researching the history of a building. For more information on their collections visit: https://www.wyjs.org.uk/archive-service/our-collections/

Huddersfield Local Studies Library:

The Local Studies Library in Huddersfield holds numerous maps, newspapers, photographs, and trade directories. The resources held here can help you explore the story of your community, whether you’re interested in researching your family tree, the history of a business or the general development of your local area. Details on opening times and contact details can be found here: https://communitydirectory.kirklees.gov.uk/communitydirectory/organisationdetails.aspx?orgid=3101


Huddersfield Exposed:

The Huddersfield Exposed website contains a collection of useful resources to help you research and understand the history of Huddersfield and the surrounding area.  It contains a variety of articles which reflect the research interests of its contributors and can help you discover more about buildings, places, and people. You can explore a searchable map of buildings and locations as well as view journals, local acts, genealogical resources, and more.


Huddersfield Local History Society:

The Huddersfield Local History Society is a membership organisation which organises monthly talks, outings, seminars, journals and contributes to a variety of publications. Anybody who is interested in the history of Huddersfield is welcome to join and membership is free. They are always keen to recruit new members and to help develop opportunities for you to share your interests and collaborate with others to discover more about the town of Huddersfield.


Huddersfield and District Family History Society:

The Huddersfield and District Family History Society is a registered charity based in Meltham. The society is particularly useful to those interested in researching the history of individuals within the Metropolitan District of Kirklees and aims to encourage collaboration between people interested in family history and genealogy. You can purchase yearly membership for a small fee and members consist of those who live locally, but also people from areas outside Huddersfield, including the rest of the UK and abroad.


Huddersfield 150

The Borough of Huddersfield was founded in 1868. Huddersfield 150 was created in 2018 to mark the 150th Anniversary of this achievement and to celebrate the rich heritage of Kirklees throughout those years. The site features the Huddersfield 150 exhibition, which shows highlights from the collections of the West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) and was curated by local historians and supported by Heritage Quay and WYAS. The exhibition was a celebration of the incorporation of the town in 1868 and was originally displayed at Heritage Quay in 2018. The website also includes links to publications and a variety of articles covering incorporation, jubilee anniversaries and the 1974 takeover by Kirklees Metropolitan Borough.


Kirklees Image Archive

The Kirklees Image Archive currently consists of over 60,000 images which have been digitised and added to the image database. The physical archive has been based at the Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield, since 2004. The digitisation of this collection was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and includes the photographic archive of the Huddersfield Examiner. The collection consists of photographs taken of the Kirklees area from the 19th Century and beyond, but also contains images of the rest of the UK, Europe, and North Africa. Many of the original images are on glass plate negatives and are held at Heritage Quay.


War memorials


Memorials and monuments list the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, not only in World War One and World War Two, but also in the Boer War, the Korean War, the Falklands, the present war in Iraq and other conflicts throughout the world.


Huddersfield and District History

A selection of essays and research relating to the Huddersfield district.