About the Society

The Society was established in Huddersfield in 1863 but within a few years extended its scope to the whole county and adopted the title “The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association”.  Archaeology and history have since become two scholarly disciplines, and the Society has become ‘The Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society’.

Our aims and objects begin with - 

“The examination, preservation and illustration of the History, Architecture, Antiquities, Manners, Customs, Arts and Traditions of the county of York…”

These aims guide all our work, although the emphasis on one theme or another may change with the passage of time. Members share a passion for Yorkshire’s past and a commitment to the Society’s aims, and, as volunteers, their commitment drives all our activities forward.

Over the years, much has been achieved but more remains to be done to ensure that future generations have as much information about their origins as can realistically be recorded.

Financially, in addition to the subscriptions of members, large projects depend increasingly on the generosity of donors, grant-giving bodies and on partnerships with other organisations.

'Hands-on' archaeology 

We’re often asked where to find opportunities to engage in real, hands-on, archaeology.  At the moment, YAHS does not itself run excavations, but among our members are many experienced archaeologists with expertise in all aspects of archaeological investigation.

We’d recommend joining YAHS sections and attending lectures if you would like to learn more about specific periods – Prehistory, Roman, Medieval – or about industrial history and archaeology. There you will come into contact with specialists in the field, and hear about work-in-progress across Yorkshire.

Some of our affiliates are however actively engaged in surveying, recording and excavation. To join their projects you may (for insurance and safety reasons) be asked to become a member of the group. See for example:

Other possibilities are on offer through community projects around the county.  For example a lottery-funded project in the North York Moors is looking specifically for beginners interested in industrial archaeology.

Also watch our social media pages and our blog where field trips, training courses and conferences are advertised when we hear of them.