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About Borthwick Institute for Archives

The Borthwick’s constantly growing collections have expanded over the last sixty years to encompass a wide range of archives, spanning from the 11th century until the present day.

Housed on over two miles of shelves in state of the art conditions at the University of York, the parish collections on FindMyPast have – until now – only been accessible on site.

The parish register collection of baptisms, marriages and burials on FindMyPast encompasses the parishes situated within the Archdeaconry of York from 1538. This area includes the city of York and a radius of about 20 miles around it.

In addition, the collection on FindMyPast includes our collection of Bishops’ Transcripts (sometimes known as Parish Register Transcripts). These cover a much wider area – most of Yorkshire, barring the Deaneries of Richmond and Catterick.

These records can be very useful in supplementing gaps in original parish registers; there are entries in the BTs which do not appear in the original register and vice-a-versa. Bishops’ Transcripts also survive for dates where there are no parish registers.The earliest surviving BT dates from 1598 but returns tend to be patchy until the late seventeenth century and none survive for the Commonwealth period (c. 1642-1660). Most parishes stopped returning Bishop’s transcripts between 1830 and 1860.

We also hold the wider archive for the Diocese of York, including Archbishop’s Registers from 1225, wills and probate records from 1389 and church court records from 1300.

The Borthwick also cares for internationally renowned collections in relation to health (such as the archive of The Retreat and the York NHS archive); records of the Rowntree company and family; major local businesses such as Terry’s confectioners and York Waterworks; archives relating to South Africa as part of the collections of the University’s former Centre for South African Studies; and family and estate collections including those of the Earls of Halifax.

Free access to the Borthwick’s records on Findmypast is available via many local libraries and on site at the Borthwick.

To find out more about the Borthwick Institute, visit our website .

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