How to view the collections

A poster from Wigan carnival in 1928

The Wigan Archives Service cares for the historical records of the Wigan Metropolitan Borough making them available to the public.

We hold collections of records for its people, places, businesses, churches, societies and all manner of other organisations, preserving the history of the entire borough.

Researchers from all backgrounds and institutions are welcome to view the collections and our staff and volunteers can help you locate relevant material.

  • The Archives - original records (primary source/records) covering all of Wigan Borough
  • Local Studies - local reference book collections and popular family history resources on microfilm and computer
  • Wigan images online - online access to historic images of the borough.

Request a time to view the collections

Due to COVID-19 and for your safety, access to Wigan Local Studies collections at the Museum of Wigan Life is currently available by pre-booking only and changes have been made to the space and facilities available.

When making a booking you can request to see material which will then be pre-prepared for your use in the session. Please give 72 hours notice as a minimum when making a booking request.

Only the Wigan Local Studies collections will be available. Wigan Archives and Leigh Local Studies collections will not be accessible until the re-opening of Leigh Town Hall in Summer 2021.

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

Please note: We are not taking donations at this time. We will be reviewing and revising these guidelines soon and will update this 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
  • Public toilets and lockers will not be available
  • Opening times for Wigan Local Studies have temporarily changed - see table below.

Opening times for Wigan Local Studies

Reduced opening times for Wigan Local Studies
 Wigan Local StudiesArchives: Wigan and Leigh
 Monday Closed Opening in Summer 2021
 Tuesday Closed  
 Wednesday Closed  
 Thursday 10am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm  
 Friday 10am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm  
 Saturday 10am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm  
 Sunday  Closed  

How do I get there?

  • Archives: Wigan and Leigh - 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 (Museum of Wigan Life) - Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU. Railway and bus stations are a five minute walk away. There is very limited on street parking immediately adjacent but the main car parks are all within easy walking distance.

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© Wigan Council