Hull History Centre

Hull History Centre brings together the material held by Hull City Archives, Hull Local Studies Libra

The Hull History Centre brings together collections of local, regional and national importance relating to the city of Hull and the surrounding areas. The City’s borough archives date back to 1299 and are amongst the best in the country. We also hold records relating to the port and docks of Hull; papers of companies and organisations reflecting Hull’s maritime history; World War 2 records; papers

Operating as usual


in 1875 Hull's tram route to Beverley Road opened. Initially horse-powered, it was converted to electricity in 1896. Here is a horse drawn tram near the Stepney crossing dated 1882 Hull Libraries Hull Museums


in 1866 crew of the Hull whaler, Diana were trapped in the ice at Baffin Bay. It was made worse with the passing of the ship’s captain, John Gravill who died aboard on Boxing Day Hull Libraries Hull Museums


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” Join us in our merry celebrations over on our YouTube channel as we explore Christmas of yesteryear with a second instalment of George Thorp’s festive diaries. It’ll be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit:


Our latest blog is live! See how we’re getting on with the University Records Project…
Hull Uni Library Hull Libraries


Thinking of meeting the postal deadlines and getting your Christmas cards written? Here is an example of a Christmas card sent in 1928 by
the Lord Mayor & the Lady Mayoress, Benno Pearlman & Mrs Pearlman includes 'possible vista of the future' - work to transform the gardens is currently taking place as part of the Hull Maritime City Project. Today, there is a lot of emphasis on futureproofing it to react to the challenges posed by climate change-something that was not even a thing in 1928! Hull Maritime
Hull Libraries Hull Museums


Why not take a journey down ’s Holderness Road and look back at its 800-year history in our latest episode from our Stories from the Strongrooms series Hull Libraries Hull Museums

Photos from Hull History Centre's post 21/11/2023

With the recent stormy weather, it is worth remembering the course of the River Hull was said to have altered in mid-13th cent. due to flooding. Previously it ran from High Flags, meandering through what is today Hull City Centre to Lime Kiln Creek Libraries Museums


On this day in 1913 Hull’s Dan Billany was born. He became a writer - his book, The Opera House Murders - became a best seller. His writing was interrupted due to the war. He joined the army but was taken as POW in Italy before fleeing in 1943. He was last heard of making his way to allied forces, but sadly never heard of again


in 1842 the Hull Packet published a lovely illustration of the ‘Flower Pot’. Located at 63 Whitefriargate it was described as a ‘Splendid establishment which cannot be surpassed by any other house in Yorkshire for cheapness & quality’ Hull Libraries Hull Museums


As its Halloween, why not read our latest blog on the reputed haunting of Argyle Terrace, Argyle Street, Hull in October, 1969. The image here is from 1973 showing 6-8 Wycliffe Grove, Argyle Street, similar properties to those down neighbouring Argyle Terrace Hull Libraries Hull Museums


in 1346 the Battle of Neville’s Cross, near Durham was fought. Sir John, lord of Sutton, (today Sutton-upon- Hull) was perhaps present at the battle. By the following month however (16 Nov) he was present with Edward III at the siege of Calais. Sir John is the man we must thank for written evidence to Bransholme Castle, his home on what is known locally as Castle Hill situated in Bransholme Hull Libraries Hull Museums


This month’s Stories from the Strongrooms is a little different; we are looking at our project to improve online access to Hull’s records of quarter sessions. A project born out of the necessity of staff having to work from home during lockdown. We describe the practical challenges that we faced as well as exploring the reasons why the records of quarter sessions can be so important for research hull.libraries Hull Museums


On this day in 1066 the Battle of Hastings was fought. The Crispin’s of Hull, a 17th cent. family are reputed to have descended from the Normans. Three Crispin’s said to have been cousins to Duke Robert I (father of The Conqueror) were at Hastings Hull Libraries Hull Museums

Introducing the University Records Project 11/10/2023

Our latest blog is now live! Find out about an exciting new project to uncover the University of Hull's history...

Introducing the University Records Project Introducing a new project to uncover records created by the University of Hull

Photos from Hull History Centre's post 10/10/2023

As we are well and truly into Hull Fair week, here are a couple of images from one recently acquired collection – Photographs of Alan Robinson. We think these date from late 1980s, though we are unsure of the ride Hull Libraries Hull Museums

Photos from Hull History Centre's post 03/10/2023

On this day in 1627 William Crispin (III) of Hull was baptised at Hull's Holy Trinity Church. He was one of the five Commissioners appointed by William Penn for the settling of Pennsylvania. He was also appointed First Chief Justice by Penn Hull Libraries Hull Maritime Hull Museums


Here is a nugget of seafaring information. Under section 4 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1867, provision of lime & lemon juice, for the treatment & prevention of scurvy aboard merchant ships, was compulsory & any master who neglected this could be charged for unlawful neglect & sent to court. This happened to Denis Falvey, Master of the ‘Two Ellens’-A British ship. He came before Hull Quarter sessions in March 1868 and was ordered to pay a £5 fine plus other costs or risk being committed to jail.
Hull Libraries Hull Museums


September is underway and children are settling back into their school routine. Here school girls line up in the playground and wait to enter their classrooms Libraries Hull Museums


Join us in our latest as we embark on a whistle stop tour of Hull’s largest park: East Park. In this month’s talk we’ll explore the park’s origins, best known features & how it has evolved over the years: []


On this day in 1967 the newly built Sir Henry Cooper School on Orchard Park opened. It took its name after Hull-born doctor Henry Cooper, a surgeon and physician at the old Hull Royal Infirmary on Prospect Street. We decided to put a face to name so here he is Hull Libraries Hull Museums

Photos from Hull History Centre's post 05/09/2023

We're excited to announce that the 1921 census is free to access here at the Hull History Centre. To coincide with its release at the History Centre and Hull Libraries why not read our latest blog on Hull in the 1920s Museums Hull Maritime


On this day in 1966 The Beatles played their final concert to a paying audience at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Their last appearance in Hull was 16 October 1964 at the ABC, shown here in 1950 when it was The Regal Hull Libraries Hull Museums


Find out how (and perhaps more importantly, why) one small voluntary organisation shifted an 80,000-ton spoil heap in Shropshire in the cause of international peace in our new episode of Stories from the Strongrooms via our YouTube channel hull.libraries Hull Museums

Photos from Hull History Centre's post 25/08/2023

With Hull Live reporting on plans for the the former 16th century blockhouses that once occupied the eastern bank of the river Hull, these images show where the North Blockhouse once stood, giving an idea of its scale Hull Libraries Hull Museums Hull Maritime


As part of the Hull Maritime City Project refurbishment work of Queens Gardens is currently taking place. The area has been a focal point for the people of Hull for over 230 years since the dock opened in 1778. This photograph is from a fascinating album of photographs which was presented to the Chairman of the Queens Dock Committee, Sir W. Alfred Gelder, JP in recognition of his conception & devoted supervision of the original scheme to transform the dock into a green space in the 1930s Hull Libraries Hull Museums


On this day in 1769 Napoleon Bonaparte was born. This letter from our collection of Wilberforce letters is from William Wilberforce to Mr. Banks and mentions Bonaparte’s disappearance from Paris in 1806 Hull Libraries Hull Museums


Read our latest blog on the 15th century adventures of Captain William Cummins of Hull Hull Libraries Hull Museums


It is 35 years to the day since the passing of Lillian Bilocca. Instrumental and tenacious in the drive for raising safety standards at sea, our guest blogger Dr. Brian Lavery looks back at her life Hull Libraries Hull Museums Hull Maritime

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Our Story

The Hull History Centre brings together collections of local, regional and national importance relating to the city of Hull and the surrounding areas.

The City’s borough archives date back to 1299 and are amongst the best in the country. We also hold records relating to the port and docks of Hull; papers of companies and organisations reflecting Hull’s maritime history; Second World War records; papers of notable individuals including Winifred Holtby, Philip Larkin, and Amy Johnson; records relating to local and national politics and pressure groups; a large Special Collection about the History of Slavery; and over 100,000 photographs, illustrations; maps and plans, newspapers, special collections and reference sources relating to Hull and the East Riding.

Please note: We will not be able to respond to research enquiries on Facebook. Please direct all of your enquiries to [email protected]

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