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Our collections

Designated Outstanding CollectionThe Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service holds an astonishing range of records relating to the history of the county of Staffordshire and the city of Stoke on Trent, and their people. In August 2011 the importance of the collections in our care was recognised by the award of Designated Status to the entirety of the Archive Service's collections.

To achieve this status a collection must be outstanding in terms of its evidential, aesthetic, scientific, historical, cultural, literary or economic importance. It must demonstrate richness and variety and where appropriate the uniqueness or rarity of individual items or groups.

Our 6,500 collections, cover over one thousand years of our collective history, and enable research into a multitude of subjects, including:

  • Family history
  • Local and community history
  • Economic history - agriculture, industry, mining and transport
  • Social history - crime, demography, education, housing, poverty, public health, religion, travel
  • National history - preparations for the Spanish Armada
  • International history - American War of Independence

Find out more about some of our key collections.

We also publish Guides to Sources for some categories of collections or document types.

  • Parish registers and bishop's transcripts
  • Nonconformist registers
  • Tithe maps and awards
  • Business records
  • Enclosure acts, awards and maps
  • Colliery records
  • Manorial records
  • Transport records
  • Electoral registers

Our online catalogue

Since 2000 work has been ongoing to get the existing paper catalogues of our collections online, and all new cataloguing is done electronically. Our online catalogue "Gateway to the Past" now holds the vast majority of our collection catalogues. It also holds the catalogues of the William Salt Library and the Staffordshire County Museum.

New accessions

We are adding to our collections all the time. We are grateful to the many individuals and organisations which have entrusted their archives to our care, so that they can be made freely available for consultation by researchers.

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