Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service

Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service houses resources relating to the history of Birmingham, these dating from the 12th Century to the present day.  Resources are held in environmentally-controlled strongrooms and include documents, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and photographs.

Two main services can be accessed by visitors to Birmingham Library.  One is the Heritage Research Area, which contains local and family history, genealogy, maps and newspapers. The other area, the Wolfson for Archival Research contains archival collections, photographs and early printed materials.

Whether you want to investigate the history of a house, conduct research for a school, college or university assignment, discover more about your local community or conduct family history research, you will find the documents of use.

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to offer advice and assistance if required.

Information about Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service


Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service 
Library of Birmingham
Centenary Square
Broad Street
B1 2ND

Telephone Number:

0121 2424242


For further information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and peruse their online catalogue.  These collections include:

  • Anglican parish registers
  • Birmingham City Council records
  • Business and trade records
  • Court records - Birmingham quarter sessions(1838-) and magistrates' courts/petty sessions(1900-)
  • Estate, family and personal records
  • GRO Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaaths
  • Hospital records
  • Maps
  • Nonconformist registers
  • School and children's homes records
  • Poor Law Union records
  • Wills

There is restricted access to some documents.

For details of the Archives and Collections opening hours, please visit their Opening Hours page.

You are required to book 3 or 4 days before visiting the Wolfson Centre (Archives Search Room), and it is also best to tell them what resources you wish to access at the time of booking in order to avoid disappointment when you arrive, especially if you have travelled a long distance.

The Wolfson Centre is on the 4th level of the Library of Birmingham.  It is accessible via stairs, lifts or escalators, and is fully accessible once inside.  A disabled toilet is situated outside the Wolfson Centre.  They also have a hearing loop for people who have auditory problems.  Some computers have been specially adapted for the visually impaired, and all computers have the facility to enlarge an image if required.

You are allowed to take photographs of documents, but a charge is made to people taking advantage of this service.  Some documents are not able to be photographed because they are fragile and easily damaged.  A photography form must also be filled in to show the user agrees to the Archives' terms of use of images.

If you unable to visit in person, the Archive offers a research service, for which a fee is charged.

The Archive is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

For further details of Record Offices in Warwickshire, please visit my page regarding Warwickshire Record Office.

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