The Elizabeth and Arthur Raistrick Archive

Scope and Content

Work of Arthur Raistrick on regional history and industrial archaeology, including book typescripts, some correspondence on publication, and many illustrations and technical plans. Work of Sarah Elizabeth Raistrick : manuscript and typescript books and articles, and file on Staincliffe Housing Association. Material by others on Yorkshire history, industrial history and archaeology : various notes, and typescript of book by Norman Walls on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Historical documents relating to Yorkshire/mining history, principally copies of 17th century documents from the Public Record Office. A few photographs : an unidentified woman, a house, miners outside a mine, and a stile. Collection of offprints and leaflets relating to geology, archaeology, National Parks and Quakers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Raistrick was born in Saltaire (Yorkshire West Riding) in 1896. He went to Bradford Grammar School, then was apprenticed as an electrical engineer. He was imprisoned as a Conscientious Objector during the First World War, following which he joined the Society of Friends (Quakers). He gained an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Geology (applied to mining) at Leeds University. In 1929 he was appointed Lecturer, and later Reader, in Applied Geology at Armstrong College (later part of the University of Durham). In 1930 he married Sarah Elizabeth Chapman, a lecturer at Leeds Training College. In addition to his work in Durham, Raistrick wrote and lectured on many aspects of the history of the landscape and industrial archaeology, particularly that of the Yorkshire Dales. He studied the archaeological and geological evidence in the field, colouring and annotating Ordnance Survey maps to illustrate his findings, and also producing plans and site drawings. Research on the history of Quakers in industry brought him to Abraham Darby's foundry at Coalbrookdale, where his work led to the establishment of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Elizabeth Raistrick's writings were on the history of education and domestic life in the Dales : as well as three books she wrote a number of articles for The Dalesman.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Dr. Raistrick in 1979, with some additions after his death in 1991.


In English.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Also held by J.B. Priestley Library Special Collections : The Elizabeth and Arthur Raistrick Collection of books on the history of mining and metallurgy and on Quaker history and the Elizabeth and Arthur Raistrick Map Collection. This large collection features annotated maps from the Ordnance and Geological Surveys, as well as many hand-drawn maps showing features of archaeological, historical and industrial interest.

Other collections of material by or belonging to Arthur Raistrick are held at Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, and in the Local History section at Skipton Public Library.