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 by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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, taking over five miles of shelving, 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

Many collections also contain records which are crucial to aspects of national or international history.  Two prime examples are: the correspondence of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth relating to the period leading up to the American War of Independence; and the papers of Sir John Leveson of Halling, detailing preparations in Kent for the Spanish Armada.

Some of our key collections are highlighted here.

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.

We are adding to our collections all the time and details of recent accessions are published here.

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.

Please follow the links on the left to explore further.


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