Yorkshire Association

Yorkshire Association Library and Archive

The YACR Library and Archive are kept as part of the York Minster Library and Archive in The Old Palace, York. It is in Dean's Park behind the east end of the Minster. The York Minster Library and Archive are themselves incorporated into those of the University of York's.

The Old Palace is an ancient building modernised with humidity and temperature control to house the many tens of thousands of documents and books in the Minster's care.  Naturally, our holdings are but a tiny part of the whole .

The Old Palace's opening hours, and other information and rules about visiting, can be found here rules for viewing and borrowing YACR's property. Note that you may be required to register and should therefore bring appropriate identifying documents with you.

For further help and information about the YACR’s Library and Archive holdings please contact the YACR’s Librarian, Robert Cater, bothcaters@gmail.com

The Library

Our Books are held as follows -

1. Pre 1850 books or 'damaged' books - in the Special Collection, for which 24 hours notice is required for their inspection and which cannot be borrowed. You will be required to register to see these books.

2. Annual Reports - in the Periodicals collection. Can be viewed without appointment but not borrowed.

3. Items without a spine label - in the Pamphlets Collection which can be viewed without appointment but not borrowed.

4. Post-1850 published books with spine label and in good condition - in the General Collection which can be viewed without appointment and which are able to be borrowed.

Additionally, there are quite a lot of the Minster Library's own books on bellringing on the shelves in the General Collection mixed with the YACR's. Ours have a bookplate (label) in them saying so.


The catalogue/inventory of YACR's books can be found at http://yorsearch.york.ac.uk/. In the single Search box put “Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers” (in quotation marks for the best results). The inventory of all the YACR books can also be found on YACR Inventory

Other non-YACR books on bellringing can be searched for in the general catalogue, but be aware that results from all University of York libraries plus electronic material will be returned initially. Look for filters for “York Minster Library” only in the right-hand column to narrow down your search, and do contact the team at collections@yorkminster.org for any assistance and booking appointments. 

  • YACR Newsletters

The 16 Newsletters prepared between 2006 and 2015 are now held in the Pamphlets Collection under the title of "A Decade in the Life of the YACR".

The Spring 2021 Newsletter can be found here.

  • DVDs

The Minster Library now accepts DVDs. They can be viewed on the Library's computer but 24 hours' notice is required for this. Alternately one can bring one's own laptop to the Reading Room without notice. Copies cannot be made without the written permission of the YACR Librarian.

Recently two DVDs containing The Ringing World between 1971 and 2018 have been added.

  • The Sheffield Cathedral Library

Sheffield Cathedral holds a very extensive library of ringing books which are housed in the Cathedral Ringing Chamber.

The books' inventory can be read here. To inspect any book, or possibly to borrow one, please contact the Ringers' Librarian, Judith Reading judithreading@outlook.com

  •  Friends of the Central Council Library

The YACR is a Friend of the library belonging to The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. It pays an annual nominal subscription to be so. The CC Library sends every Friend an Essay each year which are now part of the YACR Library. The list of them is shown here.


The Archive

The YACR Archive consists at the moment of 35 Box Files.

Contents of boxes 1 to 20

Box 10 also holds York Branch Minutes for 1992 & 1993 and 2000 to 2018

Contents of boxes 21 to 29

Contents of boxes 30 to 34

Contents of box 35

24 hours advance notice is required by the Minster Archivist for the inspection of the Box Files. No material may be borrowed.

For ease of searching, please note the following locations.

  • For Minutes of YACR AGMs and General Meetings, together with Minutes of some General Committee Meetings.

1911 to 1955 - Box 2, 1956 to 1990 Box 1, 1990 to 2005 Box 31, 2006 to 2017 Box 35. Records for 1875 to 1910 have been missing for many years.

  • Records from the Societies which existed in Yorkshire and merged with the YACR becoming Branches.

The Leeds & District Amalgamated Society of Change Ringers 1889 to 1970. Minutes covering all years the Society existed, together with the Society's Peal Books were placed in 1970 with the Leeds City Library Archives.

The Cleveland & North Yorkshire Association 1898 to 1970. Minutes covering all the years the Society existed as well as membership lists and other data are kept in the Ringing Chamber at Northallerton. Data from the old Northern Branch of the YACR are also retained. The inventory can be found here. To view the data please contact Jennie Town jennie.town@btinternet.com

The Sheffield District & Old East Derbyshire Association 1903 to 1973. Minutes covering all the years the Society existed (excluding 1967), together with the Society's two Peal Books covering 1903 to 1966 are with the Sheffield Cathedral Ringers' Librarian.

  •  Other Societies' Records in the Archives

The Selby & District Society 1945 to 1983 - Boxes 19 and 20.

The Sheffield and East Derbyshire Society 1889 to 1931 - Box 23.

The Barnsley & District Society (founded 1909 and continuing). The Society's Peal Book 1909 to 1950 and other data - Box 8.

The Joint Council of Yorkshire Ringing Societies 1965 to 1970 - Box 9.

                                                                                               Revised March 2020