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Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society Collections


The Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society (known until recently as the Yorkshire Archaeological Society) was established in 1863 as the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association (in 1870 it widened its geographical spread to encompass Yorkshire, and moved its headquarters to Leeds in 1896). From as early as the 1860s the Society began to acquire books and manuscripts for its members to consult at its premises.

The collection deposited with the University of Leeds is an impressive collection of manuscript and printed material built up by the Society over a period of around 150 years. The interests, particularly of early members have shaped the collections, however, the collections have a broad appeal to researchers in many areas of history. This is a rich and varied resource for local, family, architectural, economic, social, religious and landscape history.

The Society, today, continues to promote the study of Yorkshire's past through talks, excursions, events and publications: see

Searching the collection

All archive and library items within the collection are pre-fixed with 'YAS'. Since transfer to Special Collections the Society's collection finding numbers (beginning MS, MD and DD) are unchanged. Researchers who have previously accessed the collections through the Society's former premises at Claremont may find that some material formerly part of the open access library collection is now available through Special Collections. Books published prior to 1851 are accessible through the Special Collections Reading Room. The modern printed material from the Society's library is available, pending cataloguing, on open access.

Special Collections require at least 2 working days' notice to retrieve from the collection.