Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Waterways Archive, the national archive for the canal network, is based at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port.
This important archive holds a wide range of photographs and documents about the history of Britain’s canals and inland waterways. Plus a selection of material from waterways around the world.
You'll find over 22,000 images and 37,000 historic records in our digitised archive
At the core of the collection are British Waterways' archives and those of the early canal companies, which trace the history of Britain’s inland waterways back to its very roots in the 17th century.
The document collection includes:
While our photographic collections include work by:
We hold extensive collections about the:
As well as other interesting small private collections.
You can also use a wide range of books and periodicals about canals and waterways history for research.
You are always welcome to come and look at the collection.
It's a good idea to check before visiting to see if the collection includes the material that you want. Because of the nature of archives, we can’t always be certain you'll find the information you need, but we may be able to suggest other options.
To make sure space is available and that the records you want to look at are accessible, please contact us to make a booking.
You can visit the archive without going into the main museum, but we still do charge the standard museum entry price. We can carry out up to 30 minutes of research for you for free. If you have a more extensive enquiry, you can use our research service.
If you need more extensive research our team of volunteers can do research in our library and archives for you. We charge £20 a day of research - this goes towards improving the access to our archive collections.
Please fill in our Research Service order form and email it to email@example.com Please allow up to four weeks for an initial response (we’ll aim to get back to you sooner.)
If you are using the images and documents for commercial use then please see our charges and complete our copying service order form.
You can photocopy images and documents for your own private use for free. All copies must be for:
To publish any of our images you will need our permission.
Publishing covers any kind of public use, from publication on another website or in a book to reproduction in an exhibition or use in a public lecture. We have recently reviewed our reproduction charges in line with other museums and archives.
Please note: we can only supply copies in line with British copyright law. If copyright (and/or publishing rights) still applies, we can only supply copies of items that we hold the copyright for or have a valid copyright licence.
For more information about our service, please contact us:
Call: 0151 373 4378
Last date edited: 5 October 2017