Our Local History Collections include a wide variety of material relating to Wolverhampton and the wider area. This material originated as part of the Local Studies collection in the City Library, but has since become an archive in its own right, and material continues to be donated and deposited on a regular basis.
Records of the City Council and its predecessors
This includes some records of Staffordshire County Council relating to Wolverhampton areas, as well as the records of the Councils of Wednesfields, Tettenhall and Bilston, among others. The sorts of records that can be found in these collections include council minutes and agendas, planning applications, records about the maintenance of highways and licensing of public houses, slaughtermen and canal boats, among others.
We hold over 30,000 photographs of the local area, many of which have been digitised and are available on the Black Country History website. This includes photographs of local streets, schools, shops and events. The records that remain as hard copy are indexed and are available for perusal in the Archives searchroom.
Records of local churches, schools and other institutions
We hold copies (usually on microfilm or microfiche) of local church registers and census returns, as well as indexes to probate records and electoral registers. We also have an extensive collection of school admission registers, log books, and other educational material. We also hold a complete collection of microfilms of the main local newspapers, the Wolverhampton Chronicle and the Express and Star.
Records of local industries, clubs and societies
Our collection of material for local business is substantial, including important local industries such as Goodyears, Sankeys, the Mander Brothers and John Thompson Limited. Such records include financial and operational material, as well as staffing and employee records. Records for local clubs and societies include political groups such as the Wolverhampton South East Conservative Association, sports clubs such as the Wolverhampton & District Amateur Football League and musical and other interest groups such as the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Civic Hall Arts Society. Material includes minutes, membership records and scrapbooks of press cuttings.
Secondary reference material
As well as the historic archive material, we also hold a large collection of reference books, maps and plans, which help to complement the story of the local history of the area. Some of this material is available for free access in the Archives searchroom, while the remainder is available on request.