Archives and Local Studies

Public search room closure (at Leigh Town Hall) - from Mon 6th August 2018 →
Following a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to create new archive facilities, the current public search room based at Leigh Town Hall will be closed from Monday 6 August 2018.

A limited service for the Wigan Archives and Leigh Local Studies will be available from Monday 6 August until the end of October from its Wigan base at the Museum of Wigan Life. From Monday 5 November, the public search room and the archives team will be based at Leigh Library until the new facility is re-opened in Leigh Town Hall.

We will not be recruiting any volunteers during the closure period but we continue to recruit when we reopen in November. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Archives - piece of old application form


An open book from the archive selection

More archives

Kate and Bill volunteering

Kate and Bill

Pat volunteering


Rebecca volunteering


Evelyn volunteering


Are you interested in local history?

Would you like to make new friends?

Are you looking for a new experience or do you want to pass on your expertise?

Try volunteering with Archives and Local Studies. Tasks are suitable either for individuals or a group, for a couple of hours, a full or half day.

Our volunteers are vital to the work done by Archives and Local Studies. Without their passion and enthusiasm we wouldn’t be able to produce all of the amazing research, resources and events that take place.

Volunteer projects

These are just some of the projects made possible by volunteers:

Wigan and Leigh archives online – First World War records

For the commemoration of the First World War local studies volunteers have researched 1000s of names on local war memorials. This research is now available online for customers to look through and to discover their First World War ancestors. Two intrepid volunteers even indexed the Wigan and Leigh newspapers from 1914 -1919 for the names of local soldiers. These articles are now available on Wigan and Leigh archives online.

Leigh for All

The annual Heritage Open Weekend event is always supported by archive and local studies volunteers who help out by manning a stall at the local and family history fair, or by handling archive and local studies documents with customers.

Find out about past and ongoing volunteer projects in our volunteer newsletters:

Meet some of our volunteers!

John - “If you are considering voluntary work in local history then I would say definitely! I myself have Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. Although I might sometimes need more explanation than people who didn’t, this is no difficulty whatsoever and rather than being critical of people’s potential difficulties they look positively at anyone whether they are able to catalogue one photo or one hundred photos. It does help that they keep us happy with lots of brews and the occasional cake!”

Dave - “I spent most of my working life as a fire fighter – a completely different world to the Wigan Archives, and this drastic change of direction is a big appeal and has been good for me. I like learning more about my adopted town of Leigh (and Wigan of course). All my fellow volunteers are good, friendly people and without exception all of them are willing to help if there’s a problem.”

How to volunteer


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