Gateway to History

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York: Gateway to History is a project to create a 21st Century archive to record the lives of all our citizens for all time.

The documents in the Archive tell us – often in their own words – how York’s people have lived their lives for the past 800 years.

The project is:

  • Creating new ways for everyone to find out about the Archive
  • Making it much easier for you to use the Archive to explore where our city and its citizens have come from – and where we might be going.
  • Making sure that the Archive is preserved and continues to grow for the next 800 years – and beyond.

The Gateway to History project is delivered by Explore York Libraries and Archives. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded City of York Council a grant of nearly £1.58m – 88% of the project costs – with the council funding the remaining 12% out of its capital budget.

The project involves:

  • Construction of a new conservation-grade archive store to make sure that the archives are kept in the right environmental conditions for their long term survival, whilst still allowing them to be used.
  • Refurbishment and restoration of the first floor of York Explore library, creating a set of public spaces suitable for more people to use the Archives in different ways, as individuals or in groups. We’ve also opened up a room that has been closed since 1938.
  • A programme of partnership and outreach activities with community groups across the city. These activivies are making it easier for everyone to explore the Archives and are helping communities to manage their own archive collections – ensuring that we continue to record the lives of all our citizens for all time.
  • Creating a network of community contacts across the city to help us plan future developments and enhancements to the Archive as well as supporting external projects.

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