How to visit us

Pre-booking required for visits→

Due to COVID-19, you must pre-book to access the Archives and Local Studies collections and changes have been made to the space and facilities. Once booked, we will pre-prepare materials for you.

You must give 72 hours notice as a minimum when making a booking request.

A poster from Wigan carnival in 1928

The Wigan Archives and Local Studies service cares for and preserves the historical records of Wigan Borough and makes them available to the public.

We welcome you to view our collections and exhibitions. There will also be staff and volunteers on hand to help you locate relevant material, if needed

How to book your visit

To book your research visit to the Archives: Wigan and Leigh searchroom or to the Wigan Local Studies searchroom to consult the collections, you will need to:

Once we receive your request we will contact you within 48 hours to confirm booking arrangements or answer any questions.

To book your visit to the Archives: Wigan and Leigh exhibition, you will need to visit our Eventbrite page:

Before you visit - Important safety guidance

You must read our safety guidelines for visitors to familiarise yourself with your responsibilities for keeping yourself and staff safe, and minimising damage to the collections.

Opening times and locations

We are currently open for visitors at the following times and locations:

  • Archives: Wigan and Leigh - Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm
    Find us at Leigh Town Hall, Civic Square, Market Street, Leigh WN7 1DY. The bus station is a five-minute walk away and car parking is adjacent to the Town Hall on Bengal Street
  • Wigan Local Studies - Thursday to Saturday, 10am-4pm (temporary reduced opening times from May 2021 until October 2021).
    Find us at the Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU. Railway and bus stations are a five minute walk away. Street parking is limited but the main car parks are within easy walking distance.

Please note, temporary entrance to Wigan Local Studies (Museum of Wigan Life) is on Rodney Street. Please ring the doorbell or call 01942 828128 for access.

Accessibility of venues

Visitors with assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome, but please contact the archives team in advance to let us know.

Visitors on the autistic spectrum

We've put together are a few tips to help you get the best out of your visit.

  • Plan ahead - we know that sometimes it’s reassuring to know what to expect during your visit, so we have created a Social Story
  • Visit as often as you like - Take as much time as you need to visit our site and feel free to come back and see the things you enjoy the most
  • Quieter times - for visitors who prefer not to be here during our busier times we host regular ‘Quiet Openings’, for more information on these please contact the archives team
  • Visiting as a group - we have run group workshops for the True Colours CIC so have some experience of preparing ‘sensory’ experiences. If you would like to visit as a group for a tailor-made visit that will suit your needs then please contact the archives team
  • Relax and enjoy - our team have had training to raise their awareness of autism and the challenges people on the autistic spectrum may face during their visit. We want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to make your visit as comfortable as possible. If you have issues with queuing or need to use our accessible facilities, please ask a member of staff.

Wheelchair users and those with limited mobility

We’re a fully accessible visitor attraction so visitors with wheelchairs and limited mobility can relax and enjoy their day. We offer:

  • Free disabled parking near the main entrance
  • Accessible pathways
  • A lift onsite
  • Accessible toilets.

Food and drink

We're lucky that both our sites are surrounded by fantastic local shops, cafes and restaurants.

We ask that no food or drink is consumed within our public reading room or exhibition areas to ensure no accidental damage occurs to collections in use or on display.

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