Creating Kirklees – National Archives award will help citizens explore 150 years of local democracy

Creating Kirklees – National Archives award will help citizens explore 150 years of local democracy

Photograph of Puddlers lining the bottom of Wessenden Head Reservoir in 1881 to make it waterproof
Puddlers lining the bottom of Wessenden Head Reservoir, 1881

We’re really pleased that our friends at West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) have been awarded £40,000 by The National Archives’ Archives Revealed funding scheme to support the “Creating Kirklees” project. The award means that thousands of never-before-seen archives that tell the story of the development of places in Kirklees during the 19th and 20th centuries will be available to citizens for the first time.

The ‘Creating Kirklees: 150 years of local democracy’ project will make over 170m3 (that’s about one and a half double-decker buses) of archives fully and freely accessible for the public to explore and enjoy. The archives of the 11 local authorities that merged to form the Borough of Kirklees in 1974 show how local councils and public services developed during the 1820s to 1970s. Some of the many subjects covered include: town planning, public health, schools and education, child welfare, transport, water and energy supplies, cemeteries and crematoriums, emergency services, and wartime services and defence.  

This exciting project will also provide plenty of opportunities for citizens to get involved. Volunteers will have the chance to help transcribe, catalogue and package the unique archives. WYAS and Kirklees Council’s Democracy Service will also work together to create innovative events and activities for you to take part in. The project will help local citizens use the newly discovered archives, explore how we uphold our rights and responsibilities, and help people of all ages to be involved in our local democracy today.

The Kirklees office of West Yorkshire Archive Service have been very active in helping people to explore our democratic heritage as a way of getting more involved in local democracy and thinking about our aspirations for the future. This is a well-deserved award and we’re delighted to be working together to help citizens of all ages use these important collections to explore our democratic heritage and be part of strengthening our local democracy today.

Find out more about West Yorkshire Archive Service


WYAS blog wyascatablogue.wordpress.com

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Twitter @wyorksarchives.


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