Archives and Local Studies

Archives - piece of old application form


An open book from the archive selection

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Kate and Bill volunteering

Kate and Bill

Pat volunteering


Rebecca volunteering


Evelyn volunteering


Are you interested in local history?

Would you like to share stories about local history and help others to access our amazing Archive collection?

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

Then why not try volunteering with Archives and Local Studies.

We have lots of roles available, whether you’d prefer to be hands on with the collection, helping with our school groups or talking about local history in our exhibition space.

Our volunteers benefit from lots of free training and exciting opportunities within beautiful local heritage sites. They're a vital part of the work we do, and without their passion and enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be able to produce the amazing research, resources and events that take place.

Volunteer roles

We have a range of roles available to our volunteers, these include:

  • Visitor engagement volunteers (VEV) help ensure that our Visitors have a great day out. They contribute to the success of the Archives: Wigan and Leigh by assisting staff, helping our visitors enjoy their day and providing excellent customer service. This role is based in Leigh Town Hall.
  • Learning volunteers (LV) help ensure that our visiting school and educational groups have a great day out. They support our staff to host education sessions on site and visit local schools. This role is based in Leigh Town Hall.
  • Family history volunteers (FHV) help ensure that our visitors are able to access the information they are looking for and delve deeper into their family history. This role is based in Leigh Town Hall and Wigan Local Studies.
  • Collections volunteers (CV) help ensure our collections are well organised and catalogued. They contribute to the success of the Archives by assisting staff to ensure our collections are well documented and accessible to everyone. This role is based n Leigh Town Hall and Wigan Local Studies.

If you have any questions about our roles or would like to know more about the projects we offer, you can contact the Archives team.

Please note that our volunteer roles are currently only available to ages 18 and over. However, we're able to offer work experience through schools and colleges, so do get in touch!

How to volunteer

Unfortunately our volunteer recruitment is closed until Summer 2022.

If you have any questions or want to know more, you can contact the Archives team.


We currently offer a variety of placements available to those studying at university or college. These can be based in the Archives doing more hands-on collections work, or with our school groups getting educational experience or within our exhibition space getting experience in visitor management.

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."

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