What’s on in York: Virtualising the Archive

Tuesday, 15th June 2021

19:30 – 20:30

On Line (click to register)

Virtualising the Archive
Dusty, dry, secretive, academic, mysterious, impenetrable – mainstream media often portrays archives (and archivists!) in these terms. This is despite the continuing efforts of the profession to ensure collections are open and accessible to all.

Explore York Libraries and Archives have partnered with Bright White Ltd, an innovator in digital storytelling, to slay the ˜dusty archives” dragon once and for all. Together, they are developing the prototype for the Explore Archives Storytelling Tool (EAST), which will allow the archives to be explored in new interactive ways.

Bright White’s creative developers Chris Walker and Andy Nye, along with Explore’s Civic Archivist Julie-Ann Vickers, will talk about the idea behind the new tool and their journey in developing the prototype.

As part of the event, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in a demonstration of this next-generation archives experience for the first time in its development.

About the speakers:

Chris Walker is a Founding Director of the multi-award-winning design consultancy Bright White Ltd. Working predominantly in the museums and heritage sector, the company creates and implements innovative uses of technology in museum interpretation.

Andy Nye has spent 20 years in digital and has a proven track-record of concept creation, design and implementation. Since 2013 immersive technology has been a key part of his work. He has appeared on panels at shows such as the Wearable Technology Show and H+K’s influencer event, spoken at TEDx York and regularly hosts workshops on new technology.

Dr Julie-Ann Vickers is an archivist at Explore York Libraries and Archives. She has worked in local authority archives throughout Yorkshire as well as archives in Oxford, Suffolk and Leicester. She has a background in medieval history but her recent work has focussed on the 19th and 20th century records of York

What’s on in York: Archives Blitz-It … Crime and Punishment

 York Explore Library :

Fri 29 Sep :

10.30am – 12.00pm &

12.45pm – 2.45pm &

3.30pm – 5.30pm :


Sept _29Blitz -ItJoin us for you chance to get ‘up close and personal’ through cataloguing some of our 19 century crime and punishment archives!

At York Explore we hold a large collection of archives relating to crime and punishment, from the organisation of York Castle Gaol to court books and records of the debtors prison. Join us as we get hands-on with some of these amazing archives, cataloguing them to international standards and helping make them available to the public to research.

No experience is necessary – just bring your enthusiasm!  There are three sessions available, so please indicate your preferred session time when booking

  • To book tickets for Session 1 click here.
  • To book tickets for Session 2 click here.
  • To book tickets for Session 3 click here.

Community archive collections ready to go on show in York

Interesting web site review of the modern records archive service being set up in new accommodation at the central Library.

Already catalogued are 15 collections including

New Archive reading room

New Archive reading room

  • The York Art Society
  • York Rugby League Club
  • York Musical Theatre Society
  • Boy Scouts Association York
  • York Educational Settlement
  • Cundall Family Papers and Photographs

Also available will be some interesting records from the First World War including details of buildings damaged by Zeppelin attacks (some of which are still standing)

The new archive and library is expected to open to the public on Monday 5th January 2015


‘Gold box’ for York’s Archives

gold box minster web 2A giant ‘gold box’ to house the City of York’s most precious historic documents will be craned into place at York Explore this week.

The new state-of-the-art vault will be home to 800 years of the city’s history and is part of the £1.6m Heritage Lottery Fund-supported Gateway to History project to preserve and open up York’s internationally-important archives to people across the city – and across the world. Thousands of books, manuscripts and maps will be safely stored on nearly a mile of shelves in the climate-controlled box.


York firm wins £1.6m contract to build new city archive

William Birch & Sons Ltd of Osbaldwick will build the new city archive at York Explore.

The new archive is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported Gateway to History project to preserve and open up the city’s internationally-important archives to people across the city and indeed the world.

click to download update

click to download update

The works at York Explore will include the construction of a new state-of-the-art conservation store for the archives and a sensitive refurbishment of the existing first floor to create new spaces for people to discover the city’s extensively-recorded history.

Essential work on the roof and floor will also be carried out to on the Grade II listed library building at the same time as installing a new energy-efficient heating system, repairing the roof, refreshing the layout of the ground floor and the very successful café.

The Gateway to History project received a £1.5m HLF grant in December 2012.


York archive modernisation project enters next phase

A £1.77 million transformation of the city’s Archive has moved a step closer. An invitation to tender to create new public spaces and build a state-of-the-art store at York Explore Library Learning Centre has now been issued.


Six builders have been shortlisted to date following a pre-qualification competition. The contractors have until 27 September to submit their bids to City of York Council for evaluation. The successful firm will start work at the library in late November this year.

The scheme is part of the Gateway to History project, made possible by a £1.6 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The first floor of the Grade II listed library will be refurbished to provide dedicated spaces for the Archives and Local and Family History. A climate-controlled extension will be built to house the city’s unique records.