The archives service preserves and provides access to all kinds of useful archive information and materials about Peterborough. It’s not only a great resource, it’s also a great way to learn about the city’s history.

In our archive collections we have:

  • original, rare, and often unique source material dating from the 1200s onwards
  • the best local studies collection in the City
  • free access to lending and reference books
  • free access to “Ancestry” with “staff support
  • all the back copies of historic local newspapers
  • the largest collection of maps and plans of the area
  • evocative photographs of Peterborough including the popular Kitchin Collection

Opening Hours for the Archives – open hours changing from 5th September

Our current opening hours are:

Monday 10:00 – 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 – 14:00
Wednesday 14:00 – 17:00
Thursday CLOSED
Friday 10:00 – 17:00
Saturday CLOSED (On Saturdays access is allowed to self service local studies material when the main library is staffed.)

New Opening Hours for the Archives. Coming into effect 5th September

Monday 10:00 – 13:00, 14:00 – 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 – 13:00, 14:00 – 17:00
Wednesday 14:00 – 17:00
Thursday CLOSED
Friday 10:00 – 13:00, 14:00 – 17:00
Saturday CLOSED (On Saturdays access is allowed to self service local studies material when the main library is staffed.)

New collections available for research in Vivacity’s archives!

Staff and volunteers have been hard at work cataloguing recent accessions to the archives and you can now come and view the following collections:

  • PAS/NAP – records of New Ark Play Association
  • PAS/HAN – records of Tom Hancock and John Hawkes, planners of the Peterborough New Town
  • PAS/JH – papers of John Hynam, science fiction writer
  • PAS/OLPC – Orton Longueville Parish Council records
  • PAS/OWPC – Orton Waterville Parish Council records
  • PAS/PEPC – Peakirk Parish Council Records
  • PAS/UPC – Ufford Parish Council Records
  • PAS/TPC – Thornhaugh Parish Council Records
  • PAS/GPC – Additional Records of Glinton Parish Council
  • PAS/UPO – Union of Post Office Workers

To view any of these collections either drop into the Archives Service in the Central Library or ring the staff on 01733 864160.

National Acclaim for ‘Forty Years On’!

Vivacity’s Forty Years On project was recognized by the National Archive Volunteering Award 2013 earlier this month, receiving universal praise from its panel of judges.

Judges praised the project as being “‘transformational for a small and relatively young archive service”, and commending the initiative for “turning the service’s largest collection into the core inspiration it should be.”

The National Archive Volunteering Awards were created to recognise and reward work involving volunteers within an archive service.

Over 100 volunteers contributed to the Forty Years On project, conserving archives, conducting interviews and collecting oral histories in order to create a valuable and accessible resource within the Peterborough Archives Service.

Forty Years On will leave behind a complete and fully accessible archive in spring 2014, along with educational materials for local schools that investigate the development of Peterborough as a city.

For more information on the project, visit

Can you help?

If you have anything you’d like to donate or deposit with the archive, please contact the archives service team.

Can’t make it to the library? Let us do your research for you!

We often do checks of parish registers, census returns and local newspapers, as well as more extensive research using our collections. Contact us by telephone on 01733 864160 or email