Wigan Archives & Leigh Local Studies

Key Stage 1-2 workshop

Wigan Archives


This session aims to show children how, why and what is stored in the Borough’s Archive collections. Children will understand the value and importance of primary sources to understanding our local history.

The session will include a chance to see ‘behind-the-scenes’ in the archive strong rooms at Leigh Town Hall. Children will be able to work with original archive records, maps and photographs, and learn to talk about the archives using words and phrases to describe things from the past.

Pre-visit activities

Discuss: What does the word Archive mean? What do we keep in an Archive? What does Local History mean?

Introduce the Archives using our online collections and historic photographic platform, Wigan & Leigh Archives Online.

Your workshop

This interactive session involves all the children taking part in a fun archive handling session, exploring the history of our area using original archive records, maps and photographs. The children act as detectives using clues in the records to answer questions about their history. Each small group of children will examine unfamiliar archive collections, they will identify what they are and why each document was created.

Children will take a tour around the archive strong rooms (Leigh), where all collections are stored, and will learn key concepts concerning how history is created, where our knowledge of the past comes from and why we keep records.

Children will learn to use key terms including: Archives, Local History, Primary Sources, Preservation.

All collections used relate to our local area and local history. The children will work directly with our Archivist or Local History Officer.

Follow up activities

Discuss: Talk about the archives we have looked at in the session - can they remember them all? What surprised them the most? Did they realise what local history was? Do they understand how history is created through records? What kind of records might they preserve if they had a family or school ‘archive’?

Find out: What can you find out about your local history? Do your parents or grandparents have family archives? Can you find historic photographs of where you live on Wigan & Leigh Archives Online.


  • This workshop will be delivered at Wigan & Leigh Archives, based in Leigh Town Hall
  • The session will last for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • To book or for any further information please contact us.

To further support teaching, the Schools Cultural Service also provide book and museum loans.

For further information contact us.

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