Giving documents to the archives service

Giving documents, places donations are collected, collection policy, gift or deposit records, confidential, what happens to and how to give documents, why we collect and collecting film, sound, and digital archives.

Why do you collect documents?

We collect documents because we want to develop and keep a permanent archive of the East Riding.

Our archives are preserved because they have historical value, but also evidential and legal value.

By actively collecting local archives the information about life in the East Riding, both in the past and present, will be kept for future generations.

Can I give you documents?

Yes, we collect records and books for any place, person, family or organisation that has a link with the East Riding.

We are interested in a whole range of information, including the records of:

  • Official bodies
  • Large land-owning families
  • Everyday life (such as family letters, diaries or photographs)
  • Clubs and societies
  • Businesses

We also collect digital documents, so please give us these as well - we are happy to receive them.

Which places do you collect documents for?

We collect any records with a specific link to the East Riding.

This includes the area covered by:

  • The current East Riding of Yorkshire Council boundary
  • The former Humberside local authority area (1974-1996)
  • The historic county of East Yorkshire (pre-1974)

We may also collect documents about people, families or organisations from outside the East Riding, provided these records have a direct link with the area's history.

How do I give you documents?

We advise that you get in touch with us first so that we can assess how the documents may fit with our collection policy, and discuss the arrangements for their delivery or collection.

You can do this by completing the archives donation form (opens in new window)to provide us with the details of your documents and your contact details.

If you are able to provide any further background information about the documents, then please feel free to send us this as well as it is always very helpful.

What happens to the documents I give you?

When we receive documents from you they will be:

  • Logged as a new 'accession' on our database.
  • Placed in secure storage at the Treasure House, Beverley, within our purpose-built strong rooms, where temperature and humidity are carefully monitored and controlled.
  • A descriptive catalogue of them will be created and added to our online catalogueso that researchers around the world can find out about them.
  • Made available for public research in our secure, supervised research roomunless they are of a confidential nature.

What if my documents are confidential?

If your documents are confidential we will apply a closure in accordance with the following legislation:

You can find out more about how the archives and local studies service applies the Freedom of Information Act to its collections in the following leaflet:

Freedom of Information leaflet (pdf 25kb opens in new window)

Can I make a gift of documents to you?

Yes, we prefer to receive documents as a gift.

This means an outright donation to the archives and local studies service in which the gifted documents will become the property of East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

View our Gift agreement (pdf 26kb opens in new window)

What if I don't want to gift you documents?

If you have something that you think should be placed in the archives but don't want to donate it to us outright, you can still do this by making a 'deposit'.

This means that we look after the documents as part of our permanent archive but you remain their owner.

The 'deposit' is a typical arrangement for many archives.

The agreement is that you make a permanent deposit of the documents but reserve the right to take them away for a temporary period, such as for exhibition or for legal purposes.

View our Deposit agreement (pdf 30kb opens in new window)

Do you have a collection policy?

Yes, our collection policy tells you what we collect and what we don't collect.

It is logged with The National Archives of England and Wales as an official statement about what we collect.

View our Collection policy (pdf 73kb opens in new window)

Do you collect film and sound recordings?

Yes, we have a film and sound archiveand would like to receive any local audiovisual records. 

We collect and preserve both digital recordings and so-called 'analogue' recordings, which include:

  • VHS video cassette tape
  • DVD video
  • Film reel
  • CD Audio
  • Audio cassette tape

If you have some film and sound recordings that may be worth preserving for future generations, please complete an archives donation form (opens in new window)so that we can discuss this with you.


Do you collect digital documents?

Yes, we collect digital records for any place, person, family or organisation that has a link with the East Riding.

This includes:

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Video
  • Audio

If you have some digital records that may be worth preserving for future generations, please complete an archives donation form (opens in new window)so that we can discuss this with you.