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.
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.
|The archive is open|
|Monday to Friday||10.00am to 4.00pm|
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.
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