Record office projects and events

We hold regular events and work with local groups throughout North Yorkshire to develop community heritage projects and learning activities.

Heritage projects are a great way for communities to come together to learn about their past, to take part in fun and inspiring activities, to share their experience and knowledge and to develop new skills.

If you would like to discuss setting up a community heritage project then please contact the record office. We can offer digitisation and conservation services, meeting space, advice on sources of funding and more.

Record Office Friday lunchtime lectures are back!

In association with Northallerton and District Local History Society.

Talks begin at 12.30pm and last around 45 minutes, followed by a discussion.

Venue: North Yorkshire County Record Office, Malpas Road, Northallerton, DL7 8TB
Entry fee: £2 including light refreshments
Advance booking is not necessary.

2024 programme

  • 26 April - The Knights Templar at Westerdale by Carol Wilson 
  • 24 May - Archives and Altars: exploring North Yorkshire’s parish church heritage by Sophie Cawthorne
  • 28 June - Ingleby Greenhow Manor: its families through time by Geoff Taylor

House history on tour

If you missed our recent house history exhibition, there is another chance to view the display boards when they tour North Yorkshire’s libraries over the next few months. Come along for ideas, inspiration and practical advice on how to begin to research your own property.

So far, the exhibition has visited libraries in:

  • Harrogate
  • Ripon
  • Scarborough
  • Whitby
  • Great Ayton
  • Pickering
  • Northallerton
  • Derwent Valley Bridge Community Library

Looking ahead, it will be on display at:

Look out for further details to be advertised locally.

Do not forget to take a look at our accompanying online house history guide packed with information on how to get started on your research, the range of resources in our collections and how to use them.

Forthcoming exhibition

Treasures from the Parish Chest: exploring North Yorkshire’s church history from archives to architecture.

In an exciting collaboration, our displays will feature historic parish records alongside the stunning photographs of Sophie Cawthorne - @churchoftheday on Instagram. Together, we will explore and illustrate the history of a selection of the county’s parish churches through their archives and the buildings themselves.

Historically, the parish chest was a secure place for churches to store their valuables and important records, such as the registers of baptisms, marriages and burials and churchwardens’ account books. Nowadays, these records are kept safe in the custody of the Record Office.

Examples of a range of these items from the past 600 years will be on view, from a contract for the building of St Anne’s church Catterick of 1415, one of the earliest parish registers in our custody from St Andrew’s church Aldborough dating back to 1538, through to architectural drawings by several Victorian church architects, who were responsible for church restoration and rebuilding projects in the nineteenth-century.

The exhibition will run from the end of March to the end of June 2024.

Archives at Dusk

Thursday evening, 23 May 2024.

Our annual Archives at Dusk evening is a rare and exciting chance to see behind the scenes at the Record Office and glimpse some of the wonderful and unique archival history on your doorstep.

This year, our theme will be ‘Vice and Virtue’ with displays throughout the building using material from our archive collections to explore expressions of faith and acts of felony. From records of Anglican parish churches, Methodist chapels, Quaker meeting houses and Roman Catholic recusants to North Riding Quarter Sessions, Police and workhouse archives. 

Come and find out about these fascinating aspects of North Yorkshire’s past.

We will also be joined for the evening by several special guests, including Sophie Cawthorne (@churchoftheday on Instagram), who will also be giving the lunchtime lecture for us on Friday 24 May on ‘Archives and Altars: exploring North Yorkshire’s parish church heritage’.

Popping up around the county

We will be taking our pop-up archive to venues around the county this year. Each event is an opportunity to view a range of historic maps, photographs and other records relating to the local area.

Archive staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and to offer advice and guidance. Come along and let us know what you are researching.

In May 2024, for Local and Community History Month, we will be visiting:

County record office banner with the slogan "Collecting, Conserving, Connecting".

Attics and Acres

'Attics And Acres' focuses on the archive of the Graham family of Norton Conyers and is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Friends of the National Libraries and Northallerton and District Local History Society. With the help of volunteers, our project archivist is working to make the archive accessible to all by developing an online catalogue and holding a series of talks, exhibitions and workshops. You can follow progress via the project blog here.

Home Comforts

The Heritage Lottery Funded 'Home Comforts' researched the history of the 32 Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospitals set up across the North Riding during the First World War. Up to 1,500 beds for the care of wounded soldiers returning from the front were provided in buildings as diverse as town hall, stately homes and workhouses, with local women taking the lead in organising this provision. Project volunteers researched and wrote a 212 page, fully illustrated book telling the story of each of the hospitals and a programme of talks, exhibitions and activities reached over 4,000 people. The project was long-listed for the 2015 National Lottery Awards. You can learn about more projects at the Heritage Lottery Fund website.

Grounds for Appeal

In April 2016 the County Record Office was delighted to be awarded £8,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the North Riding Military Tribunal Papers 1916 to 1918 widely available.

We hold nearly 6000 appeal papers of men who wished to defer their military service or who conscientiously objected to it. In 1921 the Board of Health issued instructions that all tribunal records be destroyed. There were two exceptions to this, Middlesex and Lothian and Peebles appeal records. These were retained as a benchmark for possible future use. By an oversight the North Riding Tribunal papers have survived.

You can read more at the following places:

Trawling Through Time

For nearly 100 years Cochrane’s shipyard was a vital part of life in Selby. Opened by the then Beverley-based Andrew Cochrane, Cochrane and Sons became one of the most significant employers in the Selby region. In many cases, working at Cochrane shipyard was something that ran in the family, with generation after generation working at the yard. When the yard closed in 1993, not only did it result in the loss of hundreds of jobs, but it signalled the end of the shipbuilding tradition in Selby, a tradition which was first recorded in the 15th century. 

The company archive represents one of the most important pieces of evidence for the history of Selby. The North Yorkshire County Record Office was awarded a grant of £48,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to work on our project ‘Trawling Through Time’ which aimed to make this fascinating collection accessible to everyone.

You can view more images from the project on our Flickr album.