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The Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society

Since 1863

For everyone interested in Yorkshire's past

YAHS research resources online

The Yorkshire Historical Dictionary

The Yorkshire Historical Dictionary provides free access to over 4,000 historic terms from Yorkshire documents, collected by YAHS member Dr George Redmonds over his sixty-year career. The words date from 1100 to c.1750 and cover the length and breadth of the historic county of Yorkshire. They include by-names and place names; agricultural, industrial and coal-mining terms; words for landscape features, animals and plants; and the names of domestic objects, clothing and textiles.

You can browse the dictionary on the special website maintained by the Borthwick Institute for Archives at York University.  Simply use the menu at the top of the page, or search by word, place, source and date using the tabs on the ‘Words’ page. If you can’t find the word you’re looking for, or if you think you’ve spotted a mistake, consider submitting it using the ‘Submissions’ form on the Dictionary website. It is hoped to continue to develop the dictionary through researcher contributions which are most welcome.

The Yorkshire Historical Dictionary project was generously funded by the Marc Fitch Fund, as a memorial to Professor David Hey, their former chairman and an eminent local historian. The project was based at, and managed by, the Borthwick Institute for Archives, in partnership with Dr George Redmonds and the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society.


Yorkshire Industrial Heritage Online

Yorkshire Industrial Heritage Online (YIHO) is a fully searchable database developed by YAHS Industrial History Section members working with industrial historians and partners from other industrial history groups across the county. YIHO is an online repository of information, photographs, research notes, audio and sound recording of industrial sites, artefacts and processes. It aims to build a comprehensive record of Yorkshire's rich industrial heritage and become an invaluable resource for everyone researching the development of Yorkshire's industries. 


The Bradfer-Lawrence collection

The Bradfer-Lawrence collection is one of several collections held within the Society's archives and consists of almost 4000 items.  It has its own special website which includes a full catalogue along with images of many of the actual documents, supported by translations or transcriptions where available. The Fountains Abbey Stock-book, which dates to the end of the 15th century, is one of the most important items in the collection and all of its 360 pages can be viewed on the website.

This special website was developed with the support of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2005.

YAHS continues an active programme of publishing in print. As older volumes can be difficult to locate, in 2017 the society started to digitize runs of past publications. The following series are now available online free of charge and are fully searchable. 


A wealth of information in older YAHS publications 


YAHS library and archives

The society’s own collections include printed books, manuscripts and other materials gathered since 1870. These outstanding resources are available for consultation by anyone with an interest in Yorkshire’s history and archaeology, free of charge. Since 2015 the bulk of YAHS collections have been housed in the University of Leeds Brotherton Library and Special Collections.

YAHS collections of archives and older (pre-1850) printed books: YAHS archives and rare books are kept by Brotherton Special Collections. Lists and guides are online: Search the Special Collections catalogue.

Please note that you will need to make an appointment ahead of your visit to Special Collections, and submit a request for the items you wish to see. A library card is not essential. Full details are available on the university website: Visit Special Collections

YAHS library of printed books: The main set of YAHS volumes is shelved in the Brotherton Library alongside the university's own very extensive Yorkshire holdings: Search the catalogue.

To access the University of Leeds library, readers will usually need a library card.  YAHS members should contact the Hon. Secretary for further details about obtaining a card. Additional useful information is here about access to the Brotherton Library.


Additional guides to contents of YAHS archives  

The Wakefield Court Rolls, recognized by UNESCO as a globally important collection, are the jewel in the crown of YAHS archives. The catalogue of Wakefield manorial records can be explored here. Dr Brian Barber, general editor of the Wakefield Court Rolls series, provides context about the manor of Wakefield and its records, explains the significance of the court rolls, and supplies useful links to other collections and general information about manorial records in this downloadable document.

A finding aid to other court rolls and manorial records contained in YAHS archives is available here.

Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group deposits copies of its surveys of Yorkshire buildings in YAHS archives. We have a searchable list of YVBSG reports up to and including 2010.

The society’s collection of Monumental Inscriptions is being transcribed by volunteers for Yorkshire Indexers and appearing online as sections are completed.