The ARK: Archive Resource the Knowsley
The ARK: Archive Resource for Knowsley is located on the 1st floor of the Kirkby Centre. It is accessible by lift or stairs.
As Knowsley Council’s Archives 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 and 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 documents, correspondence, photographs, maps, plans and so on.
We do not normally collect items that don’t relate to the Knowsley area or which would be better placed in another archive e.g. The National Archives or another local repository; 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 dedicated 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 scanners, a small 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
In addition to the archive collections, the following resources can be found at the ARK:
Prescot UDC, covering Huyton with Roby, Knowsley, Prescot: 1939 [GB1076.ELRE/1]
Kirkby UDC: 1959 – 1973 [GB1076.ELRE/2]
Huyton UDC: 1966 – 1975 [GB1076.ELRE/3]
Knowsley MBC: 1974 – year before current [GB1076.ELRE/4]
Electoral Rolls for the County Palatine Lancaster [GB1076.ELRE/5]: 1832 – 1949
Historic local newspapers on microfilm
Trade and street directories, broken sequence 1872 – 1970
Civil registration indices for births, marriages and deaths on microfilm
Census returns on microfiche
Hearth Tax returns, Lancashire 1662-1663, 1664, 1673
Cemetery Burial Registers on microfilm
Church of England parish registers on microfilm
Non-conformist parish registers on microfilm including: Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph RC Church, Prescot; Our Lady Help of Christians RC Church, Portico; St Mary’s Parish Church, Prescot; Liverpool Workhouse Chapel, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool; St Mary’s Church, originally Hotham Street then Hardman Street, Liverpool; St Matthew’s Chapel, Scotland Road, Liverpool; St Matthias Church, Great Howard Street, Liverpool; St Michael’s Church, Upper Pitt Street, Liverpool; St Nicholas Church, Chapel Street, Liverpool
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, fax 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.
Our ever popular Family History Help Desks take place once a month in each of Knowsley’s libraries and are a must for the budding genealogist and the more seasoned campaigner alike. Sessions are run on a drop in basis – no appointment necessary. Dates and times are available here
The ARK is open during Kirkby Library opening hours and you can drop in to view the collections without appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00am-1:00pm. Please get in touch to make an appointment to visit at other times.
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?
The Kirkby Centre
Telephone: 0151 443 4365 / 4291