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

Vivacity’s Archives Service invites you to delve into a treasure trove

As part of the ‘Explore Your Archive’ campaign, which begins on Saturday 16 November, Vivacity’s Archives Service has created a ‘Made in Peterborough’ story box for the public to explore.

The campaign encourages people to discover the stories, facts, places and the people that are at the heart of our communities. Archives across the UK and Ireland are taking part to raise awareness of the value of archives to society and of the rich variety of content that is held, preserved and made available to users.

Vivacity’s Archives Service has pulled together a box of curios, documents, journals and paper cuttings all about Peterborough’s industry in days gone by, to show the kinds of things that can be discovered in the archive.

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