Documents we hold at Wirral Archives

Wirral Archives holds 6 miles of documents preserved in a large, purpose-built strong room.

We hold documents dating back to the fifteenth century, with most dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century.

A searchable catalogue of the holdings of Wirral Archives can be found on Discovery, the online catalogue of the National Archives and of more than 2,500 archives across the country. View The Wirral Archives page

The improvement of our catalogues and their addition to Discovery is an ongoing project, so if you cannot find what you are interested in on Discovery contact us and we will search our lists and catalogues for you.

A summary of our holdings follows:

Local Government records

Records of Wirral local government (i.e. borough and district councils), including minutes, building plans and rate books, for the present Wirral Council (established in 1974) and its predecessors: Birkenhead Council, Wallasey Council, Bebington and Bromborough Council, Hoylake and West Kirby Council, and Wirral Urban District Council.

Official records

Comprising records of:

Private and Business records



A variety of other collections are also available. They are listed on the following pages, arranged by year:

These accessions include records concerning:

  • Local Government
  • Transport, such as ferries, railways, trams and buses
  • Businesses, including the Argyle Theatre
  • Schools
  • Churches, especially Methodist churches
  • Societies, such as the Rotarians, Soroptimists and Freemasons
  • Sports clubs, including Tranmere Rovers Football Club and Cammell Laird Football Club

Of particular interest are:

Acc. 1443 – Albums of the Mayor of Birkenhead’s charity fancy dress ball for children, 1893 and 1903
Acc. 1474 – Laird family scrapbooks
Acc. 1638 – Letter sent to the Head Constable of Birkenhead Constabulary from the Birkenhead Branch of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, threatening to kill him if he allows an Orange March to go ahead, 1867
Acc. 1880 – Prenton Literary and Debating Society
Acc. 1905 – General Election leaflets for the Wirral, 1945
Acc. 2009 – Photographic negatives taken by Elsam, Mann and Cooper
Acc. 2018 – Bidston Observatory meteorological records
Acc. 2245 – Charles David Wild, birdwatching notes

Maps and plans

Including tithe maps, Ordnance Survey maps, and marine maps of the Wirral Coastline

Family history

In addition to these original documents, we also hold on microfilm or microfiche a number of sources of particular use to family historians, including:

  • Census returns for Wirral, 1841-1901
  • Electoral registers for Wirral, 1842-1900
  • Electoral registers for Birkenhead, 1945-1952, 1962-1972 (original volumes)
  • Records of burials in municipal cemeteries

Researchers requiring parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials should contact Cheshire Record Office or Birkenhead, Wallasey or Bebington reference libraries; and those requiring birth, marriage and death certificates should contact the General Register Office.