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The ARK: Archive Resource for Knowsley

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As Knowsley Council’s Archives Service, an Accredited Archive Service and a Place of Deposit for Public Records, we aim to collect relevant materials that relate to the history of the geographical area which makes up the present day borough of Knowsley. We are always grateful for offers of deposits from individuals, businesses and organisations. In line with our Collections Management Policy, the types of materials that we collect include local government records of Knowsley MBC and its predecessor authorities, public records allowed under the Public Records Act and records relating to individuals, clubs, societies, organisations and businesses. These can include items such as documents, correspondence, photographs, maps, plans and so on.

View of the Kirkby Centre
The Kirkby Centre

We don’t normally collect: items that are unrelated to the Knowsley area and which would be better placed in another archive; records which have no historic value; duplicates of items already held or artefacts, unless they form an integral part of a wider archival collection. Knowsley’s Museum Service will collect Knowsley related objects in line with its collections policy. If we are unable to accept your offer of deposit, we will advise you of alternative repositories and signpost you to a more suitable archive or museum.

The ARK has a public search room which offers 4 research seats and houses 2 PCs for web-based genealogical research – Ancestry Library Edition is free to use on any PC within the Library Service. There are also 2 microfilm reader-printers, a reference book selection and lending copies of family history research guide books. The ARK also houses a collection of rare books covering topics of local and regional interest. View our Archive Services User Guide here: ARK User Guide

When planning to visit us, if you think you may need assistance, or your enquiry is particularly detailed, we recommend that you make an appointment by contacting us in advance by telephone, letter or email to ensure that staff are available to assist.

Not everyone can make a physical visit to the ARK, so we welcome remote enquiries which can be submitted by telephone, email, letter or via social media. Often, we are able to find the answer to your enquiry within a 30 minute period for which we do not make a charge; however, in cases where the enquiry cannot be dealt with within this free of charge 30 minute period, we can offer you the option of using our Research Service. Contact the ARK Team for more information about this service and the relevant charges.

If you are a member of a local group or society, you might be interested in visiting us for a group session. We can offer an introduction to the ARK, where you will be treated to a behind the scenes look at how a local authority archive works and explore some of the highlights of the collections. Alternatively, you might like to find out more about your own locality with one of our illustrated local history talks. We can also accommodate school class visits to the ARK, with interactive sessions which bring history alive for pupils based on the demands of the national curriculum.

We can support your family history research using the full range of resources in the Archive: give us a call or make an appointment to visit. Whether you are a budding genealogist or a more seasoned campaigner, we are here to help. Contact the ARK Team for more information.

The ARK is open during Kirkby Library opening hours and you can make an appointment to view the collections Monday to Friday, with sessions available from 10:00am -12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm. 

There’s so much to discover about the social, political and financial heritage of Knowsley and the stories of the people, places and events that have shaped our borough… why not call in and find out for yourself?


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