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

Would you like to join us as a volunteer?

The archives team is looking for volunteers to help catalogue the Soke of Peterborough collection which tells the story of Peterborough from 1889 to 1965. Volunteers will be involved with every stage of the cataloguing process including identifying, re-packaging and describing archival documents. If you are interested in local history, archives or heritage, then this role could be for you.
For more information contact the volunteering team.

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