Home to ten centuries of history: Bristol Archives (previously Bristol Record Office) collects and preserves the city's archives for current and future generations to consult.
Tuesday - Friday: 9.30am – 4.30pm
First two Thursdays of month: 9.30am - 7pm.
First two Saturdays of month: 10am - 4pm.
Closed: Sundays and Mondays, and third, fourth and fifth Saturday of the month.
Part of the Designated Collections of national importance relating to the history and development of the city of Bristol are on available here for research. The other part of these collections can be seen at Bristol Central Library’s Local Studies Service.
Our collections reflect many different aspects of Bristol’s history and include:
• Official records: records of the city of Bristol from medieval times to the present day, as well as other bodies such as the local Board of Health, Board of Guardians and school boards.
• Public records: including Quarter and Petty Sessions, the County Court, the coroner, prisons, police and hospitals, as well as local shipping registers and crew lists.
• Records of the Diocese of Bristol: including wills, Bishop’s transcripts, faculty papers, records of ordination, estate records and tithe maps.
• Parish registers and records: these include registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for the Archdeaconry of Bristol, records of the Overseers of the Poor and churchwarden’s accounts.
• Local organisations, institutions and charities including the Society of Merchant Venturers, trades unions, Arnolfini and Bristol Rugby Football Club.
• Bristol businesses such as the Bristol Omnibus Company, J S Fry & Sons and Elizabeth Shaw (confectioners), John Harvey & Sons (wine merchants), W D & H O Wills (tobacco manufacturers), J W Arrowsmith (printers and publishers) and Bristol Water.
• Records of estates, families and individuals associated with Bristol and its history: these range from the archives of the Smyth family of Ashton Court to diaries and letters written by Bristol residents.
• Records of Bristol’s African-Caribbean community, collected through the Bristol Black Archives Partnership
• Maps, ranging from early city plans to modern Ordnance Survey maps. Some of these can be accessed online on the Know Your Place website.
• Illustrations and photographs of Bristol, including the extensive Vaughan postcard collection.
We also hold the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection. Photographs and films available for research are listed on the website.
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
B' Bond Warehouse
City of Bristol
British Empire and Commonwealth Collection
0117 922 4224