Since it’s establishment in 1974, Teesside Archives has existed to collect, catalogue and preserve records and documents relating to the Teesside area. The archives works hard making them accessible for the public. Throughout it’s history the staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to celebrate and protect the area’s rich heritage. The archives engages with local, national and international audiences.
Teesside Archives is an accredited service that holds a large amount of various material.
Teesside Archives was initially established as part of the Cleveland County Library Service.
81 Borough Road – the first home of the named Cleveland County Archives, CC/PL/EX – Image courtesy of Teesside Archives
Teesside Archives began its life within Middlesbrough’s Reference Library employing 1 professional archivist.
Archival collections need to be housed in secure environmentally controlled rooms. These were not available in Middlesbrough’s Central Library at the time so the search began for suitable premises.
81 Borough Road, a house owned by Middlesbrough Council, was chosen as the base for the service then known as Cleveland County Archives. Unfortunately, its limited storage space meant that it wasn’t a long term solution.
As part of the construction of the A66 Bypass, Middlesbrough Council acquired Exchange House, the former Post Office buildings on Marton Road. Exchange House was approved for use as an archive repository and its conversion took place in the early 1980s.
The service moved into the building in 1984 and work began to bring the collections together into one single place. A much improved and enlarged search-room enabled the service to accommodate more visitors and be able to cope with ad-hoc users as well as those that had pre-booked. Exchange House also provided a fully equipped Conservation Studio.
In 1985 a fully qualified conservator was appointed.
Previous to this, Durham County Record Office used to carry out all conservation work. The building held a prominent position in Exchange Square and was at the heart of the Middlesbrough High Street Heritage Action Zone in more recent years.
In 2021, Teesside Archives would be relocating to the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough. The aim was to develop and improve access to the collections of both services, expand the gallery space and provide an on-site store compliant with up-to-date standards.
In the interim, the archive collections was held at an offsite storage facility with weekly deliveries of requested boxes from the public service at the museum. The service, which had already faced closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, remained closed to the public to prepare the records for the move until Spring 2022 when it reopened to the public in its new home.
Teesside Archives Searchroom is open 10am-4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Viewing archival material is strictly by appointment only.
A selection of local history books and maps are available to browse.
Teesside Archives is now located in The Dorman Museum, Image courtesy of Teesside Archives
Access to FindMyPast and Ancestry is available to use via bookable PCs. Users are limited to 10 documents but access remains free!
We continue to provide a paid research and document copying service as well as conservation advice.
Our Searchroom provides access to the archives. We love to wor with community events so we provide outreach sessions for schools and community groups.
We are always keen to develop our collections and connect with new audiences. Archives are for everyone and we want to share them with as many people as possible. If you want to work with us or talk about sharing your story/experiences please do get in touch!