Cllr Anthony Burns (left)
Cllr Anthony Burns (left)
St Helens Archive Service has come in for high praise after receiving national recognition for best practice.

Part of St Helens Library Service and based in the iconic Gamble Building in Victoria Square, St Helens Archive contains more than two million records of local and national significance.  The service has achieved Archive Service Accreditation, the UK standard for archive services which looks at how services acquire, preserve, and provide access to their collections.

Accredited archive services ensure the long-term collection, preservation, and accessibility of our archive heritage. Accreditation is the UK quality standard which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery. Achieving accredited status demonstrates that St Helens Archive Service has met the national standards relating to the care of our unique collections and what the service offers to a wide and diverse range of users.

In January 2020, a team from The National Archives inspected the Archive in The Gamble and prepared a report which went to an independent panel. With a commitment from St Helens Borough Council to bring The Gamble Building back into public use, the service’s application was confirmed successful this month (July) and will be valid for two years.

Welcoming the news, Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “Our borough has such a rich heritage which we’re proud to shout about, so we’re delighted our Archive Service has been recognised with this accreditation which is testimony to the fantastic work that goes on behind the scenes by the team to preserve local history.”  

Formally established in 1974, St Helens Archive Service is back open for public visits following the lifting of coronavirus measures and is behind several successful initiatives, including the ‘St Helens Oral History Project’ which will see more than 100 recordings and video interviews preserved for future generations,, as well as the St Helens Community Archive website where residents can upload their own photos, videos, and audio clips to help define local heritage.

Access to the Search Room is by appointment. To make a booking or enquiry please contact the Archive Service at or by calling 01744 671748.

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