Toggle menu

Using the Archive Service

Visiting the Archive Service

The search room is on the basement floor of the Gamble Building in St Helens town centre and continues to be accessible while renovations take place on the building. Appointments are currently available during the following times (appointments outside these hours can sometimes be made by prior arrangement).

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday10am - 2pm

To book an appointment, please contact us with a list of items you would like to access and their reference numbers; which can be obtained from the online catalogue. If you need support searching the catalogue or can't find what you're looking for then please let us know.

Archive Service - contact details

Phone: 01744 671748

St Helens Archive Service, The Gamble Building, Victoria Square, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1DY.

Parking and public transport

The Gamble Building is a two-minute walk from Birchley Street Car Park, a two-minute walk from St Helens Bus Station and a five-minute walk from St Helens Central train station.

Disabled parking spaces can be found very near to the Gamble Building on Hardshaw Street.


Please advise staff when booking an appointment if you have mobility issues as we have limited accessibility to the basement level.

Handling documents

  • Food and drink are not permitted in the search room.
  • Please ensure your hands are clean and dry before handling documents, gloves will be provided if necessary.
  • Only pencils may be used.
  • Bags and heavy coats are not permitted at search room tables and must be stored in the lockers provided.
  • Please follow staff instructions for handling documents and ask for advice if ever unsure.
  • Some items may not be available for access as they are too fragile or are closed to the public; where this is the case, we will advise you as soon as possible.

Copying and licensing

  • You may use a camera to photograph items in the search room. If doing so, you must not use the flash and will be asked to complete a copyright form.
  • You must complete a copyright form if making or receiving an image or copy of any item.
  • For those wishing to publish images, a licence must be obtained. Please speak to staff if you intend to publish any images taken of archive items as copyright and other restrictions may apply.
  • To help preserve items, photocopying of archive materials is restricted.

Remote access

If you would like to view items but cannot visit in person, please get in touch to discuss options for remote access.

Local studies facilities

Maps, microfilm records and local studies reference materials are also available at Eccleston and Newton-le-Willows Libraries. To book an appointment to view material, please contact Eccleston Library (01744 677575) or Newton-le-Willows Library (01744 677885) directly. 

Free access to Findmypast is available to St Helens Library Service members at any St Helens Library currently offering PC access.

Fees and charges

There is no charge to visit the archives and view archive documents.

Charges apply for research services, reproduction, digitisation services, and use of your own camera / device.

Please see below for full list of fees and charges.

Digitisation and Reproduction

Research use

£7.00 minimum (£5.00 admin charge, £2.00 per image)

Commercial use (small publications and regional media)

£15.00 minimum (£10.00 admin charge, £5.00 per image)

Commercial use (commercial publications and exhibitions)

£30.00 minimum (£10.00 admin charge, £20.00 per image)

Commercial use (broadcast and film)

£100.00 per image, inclusive of admin charge

Image credit must always be displayed for St Helens Archive Service.

Use of own device

Photography permit (for research or private study)

£3.00 per day

£10.00 per week


Research work (per enquiry) carried out by staff on your behalf (Research Policy will be provided)

First 30 minutes is free, then £25 per hour.


Private Right to Buy enquiries



Payment can be made by cash, cheque or card. Card payments can be made over the phone. Cheques should be made payable to: 'St Helens Council'.

It may not always be possible to provide an accurate quote for the price of research work in advance.  The first hour should be paid for in advance and will advise you if the price is likely to increase. Research information / copies will only be sent once payment has been received. Please note that there will still be a charge if no information is found.