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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Yorkshire Archaeological Society

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Promoting the study of Yorkshire’s past…

The Yorkshire Archaeological Society is a regional historical society founded in 1863 to promote the study of Yorkshire's past.

The Society exists to encourage interest and facilitate study of all aspects of the history, and pre-history, of the historic county of Yorkshire through a range of activities and resources: lectures, excursions, library and archive collections, and publications. We have special interest sections for family history, industrial history, medieval history, pre-history and Roman antiquities, and publishing sections with edited texts in the Record Series, Parish Register and Wakefield Court Rolls series.

Based at “Claremont” in Leeds, the Society's library contains a wide range of books, periodicals, maps, pamphlets and prints relating to Yorkshire's heritage such as its buildings, families, industries and landscape. Its archive collections include manorial and estate papers, personal papers and deeds. Highlights include the diaries of Leeds historian Ralph Thoresby and the original watercolours for George Walker's Costume of Yorkshire.

People are encouraged to support the running of the Society through donations or membership subscriptions, but we aim to involve anyone with an interest in Yorkshire's past. Participation from members and the general public is also encouraged through volunteering. The Society's officers are all volunteers, and volunteers carry out important work in our library and archives. Many of our volunteers are retired, but we also encourage young people, particularly those hoping to work in the library or archive sector to come and see what we do and work on short projects.

The care of collections and the 150th anniversary…

Emphasis in 2011 has been on the care and promotion of our collections. In 2009 work began to improve our premises in Leeds to safeguard our collections through an extensive programme of window repairs and redecoration. The inscription of the Wakefield Court Rolls on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register also provided impetus to highlight these very important documents in the Society's care, the rolls were therefore the topic of the 2011 AGM lecture. 2011 also saw the inauguration of the Yorkshire Collections Lecture to promote Yorkshire's documentary heritage.

Work also continues on the cataloguing of books and archives to make these more accessible to the public and increased information on the YAS website hopes to attract new users.

In the publishing sections, the Record Series produced its 2010 volume on the Middleton Papers, and the Parish Register Section published a volume of Tickhill parish registers in 2010, with another to come out in 2011. Later in the year the Wakefield Court Roll for 1434-5 is also due to be published.

As we look towards our 150th anniversary in 2013 we are looking at planning county-wide events, many in partnership with our affiliated societies to encourage more interest in Yorkshire's past and attract new audiences.

The YAS is a private company and charity (Company Limited by Guarantee No. 38346C. Registered in England, Registered Charity No. 224083).

Kirsty McHugh, Promotions Officer, Yorkshire Archaeological Society

The Archbishop has been Patron of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society since 2009.