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.

The PDF files below may not be suitable to view for people with disabilities, users of assistive technology or mobile phone devices. PDF maps are more suitable to view on a large screen over a wifi connection.

A summary of our holdings follows:

Local government records

Records of Wirral local government (that is, 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
  • Wirral Urban District Council

Official records

Comprising records of:

Private and business records

Including:

Accessions

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
  • marine maps of the Wirral coastline

Photographic collections

Local History Collection

The photographic collection previously held at Wallasey Reference Library has been transferred to Wirral Archives, in order to improve its security and preservation.

The collection comprises historical photographs and albums of Wallasey, including images of people, streets and places, and photographs of the Blitz.

There was also a card index to the photographs, which has been transcribed here:

Cammell Laird ships

Wirral Archives also holds an extensive collection of photographs of ships built by Cammell Laird.

Just contact us if you would like to make an appointment to consult these photographs, or would like copies of them.

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)
  • e-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.