The following is a selected list of guides to further information, and gazetteers of historic industrial sites in Yorkshire. They should be available at the larger public libraries, and may be consulted in the YAHS Library.

Addy, J and others The Industrial Revolution - a guide to Yorkshire sources. University of Leeds, School of Education, no 15, 1977

Bayliss, D (ed) Guide to the industrial history of South Yorkshire. Association for Industrial Archaeology, 1995

Giles, C and Goodall, I H Yorkshire textile mills – the buildings of the Yorkshire textile industry 1770-1930. HMSO, 1992

Greenwood, J The industrial archaeology and industrial history of northern England. Open University Press, 1985

Hartley, M and Ingilby, J Life and tradition in West Yorkshire. New ed. Smith Settle, 1990

Rennison, R W (ed) Civil engineering heritage – northern England. 2nd ed. Thomas Telford, 1996

Singleton, F The Industrial Revolution in Yorkshire. Dalesman Publications, 1970

Smith, M An industrial index - Yorkshire 1236-1973. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 57, 1985

Thompson, W (ed) Guide to the industrial heritage of West Yorkshire. Association for Industrial Archaeology, 1989

Thornes, R C N West Yorkshire - “A noble scene of industry” - the development of the county 1500-1830. West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, 1987

Ward, C A Bibliography of the history of industry in the West Riding. Proceedings of Leeds Philosophical Society, vol. 13, 1968


The British Library has an extensive collection of journals dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries onwards covering topics including building, engineering, mining, textiles. These may be viewed in the Boston Spa Reading Room at the Library's site on the Thorp Arch Trading Estate near Wetherby, West Yorkshire. The Reading Room is open Monday - Friday: 09.00 - 16.30; it is closed Saturday and Sunday. The Library’s online catalogue and further information may be found here

Leodis is an online photographic archive containing over 52,000 images of Leeds, old and new, created and maintained by Leeds Library & Information Service. Includes themes researched in greater detail - the Waterfont, Industrial Leeds and the Markets.

South Yorkshire Archaeology Service is the archaeological service for Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Its role is to help protect and preserve the archaeological heritage and provide advice on the management of archaeological sites to the 4 local authorities.
They have created South Yorkshire Historic Environment Characterisation, a new way of using digital maps to record history told by the environment, buildings and industries.

Tees Archaeology is the archaeological service for Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees. Its collections of artefacts and archive covers Roman onwards, medieval farmers and local industries such as alum manufacture. The archives may be consulted at Sir William Gray House in Hartlepool

Visual archive of Calderdale history give access to over 23,000 images of historical documents

West Yorkshire Archives holds an extensive collection of historical documents relating to Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society publishes the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal and the Record Series. It encourages interest in Yorkshire’s past and promotes the study of its history through events, lectures and visits. The Library and Archive may be consulted at the Society’s headquarters at Claremont close to the centre of Leeds.


The major local studies libraries in South and West Yorkshire are at:








The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) is the national organisation for people who share an interest in Britain's industrial past

The Newcomen Society is concerned with all branches of engineering: civil, mechanical, electrical, structural, aeronautical, marine, chemical and manufacturing.

Halifax Antiquarian Society researches and records the history of Halifax. It has an extensive library of the main published works as well as pamphlets, almanacs, newspapers, photographs and maps.

Huddersfield Canal Society is devoted to the canal, its history, its restoration and its facilities.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society holds lectures and produces leaflets and booklets about the canal's history.

Northern Mill Engine Society for the preservation of the steam engines from the textile industries of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Northern Mines Research Society for the preservation and recording of mining history

The Railway & Canal Historical Society is concerned with the history of transport — inland waterways, railways, tramroads, roads, aviation, coastal shipping, ports and pipelines — from the middle ages (or before) to the day before yesterday. It publishes a Bulletin, a Journal and books and cares for collections of historic photographs covering its areas of interest.

South Yorkshire Industrial History Society and South Yorkshire Trades Historical Trust holds lectures and visits and records historic industrial buildings, sites and machinery.


  • Industrial museums have extensive displays illustrating the industrial life of their area. Tools, machinery and materials are complemented by explanations of their use and development. The social background to the industrial changes is also explored. The following are particularly notable:
  • Bradford Industrial Museum

    Hull & East Riding Museum


    Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills

    Thwaite Mills A fully-restored working watermill.


    Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

    Kelham Island Museum has objects, pictures and archive material representing Sheffield's industrial story.

  • Other museums have displays relating to industrial and social history as part of a larger collection:
  • Beck Isle Museum, Pickering, - rural crafts, developments in social and domestic life of Ryedale, including the Sidney Smith photograph collection.

    Cliffe Castle, Keighley

    Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes

    Museum of South Yorkshire Life, Cusworth Hall, Doncaster

    Nidderdale Museum, Pateley Bridge

    Richmondshire Museum, Richmond – domestic, social and industrial history of Richmond and Swaledale

    Ryedale Folk Museum , Hutton-le-Hole

    Tolson Museum, Huddersfield

    York Castle Museum a museum of everyday life showing how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and by recreating rooms, shops and streets.

  • Museums concentrating on particular industries:

    Transport is covered at the following museums and preserved railways:
  • Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, near Skipton, has a number of locomotives built in Hunslet, Leeds

    Keighley & Worth Valley, Keighley

    Middleton Railway, Leeds The world’s oldest working railway

    National Railway Museum, York

    National Tramway Museum, Crich has trams from Leeds and Sheffield in its collection. Its Library and Archive has books, photographs, reports and Acts of Parliament covering the history of British tramways and light railways, records of transport operators and associations such as the Municipal Tramways and Transport Association and the Municipal Passenger Transport Association.

    North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering

    South YorkshireTransport Museum Aldwarke, Rotherham

    Streetlife Museum of Transport , Hull

    Trolleybus Museum, Sandtoft, Doncaster

    Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York

  • Other industries are illustrated at the following museums:
  • Colne Valley Museum, Golcar Traditional handloom weavers' cottages illustrating life in the early 1850s onwards.

    Elsecar Heritage Centre, Barnsley located within the former ironworks and colliery workshops of the Earl Fitzwilliam. Houses a 1795 Newcomen atmospheric engine – the only one in the world in its original engine house.

    The National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse, Wakefield

    Wortley Top Forge, Wortley, Bransley. Unique water-powered heavy forge dating from 1623 at its peak in the 19th century. The site includes tilt hammers, waterwheels, cranes, foundry and blacksmiths’ shops

    Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park, York. Houses a regional collection illustrating how agriculture has shaped and influenced both society and the landscape. It includes many thousands of objects, photographs and archival material dedicated to tools and techniques.