Archives Information: St Helens Archive Service

Where to find us!

Name of Archive

St Helens Archive Service, St Helens Borough Council 


Based in the historic Gamble Building, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1DY, in the heart of the town centre.  

Due to ongoing work within the Gamble Building, St Helens Archive Service is currently offering a remote service.  Please contact us on the details below to assist with your enquiry., 01744 671748.  

c/o Parr Library, Fleet Lane, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1SY. 

What is expecting you!

Our Staff

One Archivist, One Archive & Library Assistant, One Project Heritage Officer 

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, St Helens Archive Service are currently leading on an exciting two-year project, ‘Creative Underground’, which will explore the history of creative industries across the region, launching during St Helens Borough of Culture, 2023. Read more about this project.

Our Building

What you will find!

What we collect

St Helens Archive Service collects, preserves and provides access to unique historic materials that relate to different aspects of life across the borough of St Helens.  

The collection is a diverse, unparalleled resource for the study of the locality. Some records are of regional and national significance, including records relating to Sir Thomas Beecham and the historic corporate archive of the Beecham’s Pills empire; items relating to the Gamble family. Greenall Whitley Brewery account ledgers, correspondence and architectural plans; items relating to the Pilkington family and business; United Glass; The Medical Officer of Health reports highlighting local conditions during the Victorian period; archives of the Vulcan Foundry; The Sherdley Estate Papers and historic township estate documents; plus, St Helens Council (and its predecessors) historic collections. 

St Helens Archive Service holds other records relating to local services, businesses and industry, transport, education, war, events, clubs and societies, religions, property, plans, photographs, family history and local history. The online catalogue can be used to find out the reference numbers of items that you are interested in; to search the records that we hold in the borough archives, please visit the online catalogue. If you need additional help accessing the catalogue, please contact us.  

Local History Resources 

Maps, microfilm records and local studies reference materials are also available at Eccleston and Newton-le-Willows libraries, including a new digital microfilm scanner. To find out more, please contact Eccleston Library (01744 677575) or Newton-le-Willows Library (01744 677885) directly. Free access to Findmypast (including free access to the 1921 census) is available to St Helens Library Service members at any St Helens library by PC or WiFi access. 

St Helens Community Archive 

St Helens Community Archive is our online interactive resource containing over 4,000 photographs, video and audio files contributed by the Archive Service as well as by residents from across the borough.   

Deposit Records 

We are happy to accept deposits of unique, historic records that reflect the borough of St Helens, its people and places – past and present into the borough archive collections.  The documents we hold come from organisations and individuals and are stored in conditions suitable for their permanent preservation. Documents may also be cleaned, repackaged, or repaired to ensure their longevity.  If you have documents, you feel might be of interest, please contact us for further information and a tour of our facilities. 




Phone Number: 01744 671748 

Most Unusual Item

Boxed tube of Beecham’s Toothpaste and advertising leaflet, BP/5/4/5, St Helens Archive Service 

Part of the Beecham’s Pills archive are a collection of 3-dimensional objects and products relating to the Beecham’s Group, dating from 1868 all the way to as late as 1989.  

One of the many products within the collection is a boxed tube of Beecham’s Toothpaste and advertising leaflet. 

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