John Moore Council minute book entry
Council minute book entry for John Moore 'the Blackmoore' when he became a Freeman of York, 1686-7.

Our archives currently contain very little about the experiences of individuals and families of Black and Caribbean origin in the York area. This is something we are actively looking to rectify, so if you are aware of any organisations or individuals who hold archives that might interest us, or you feel that you might be able to support us in this work, please contact us.

We recognise, though, that some archive collections are best kept in local communities rather than in an archives service, as they support the creation of a sense of place and community identity. If you are looking for advice on how to create your own archive, or how to preserve what you currently have for future generations, please have a look at our advice for community groups or get in touch. We’ll be happy to support in any way we can.

If you are interested in researching Black British history, in the UK or overseas, please take a look at our Hints and Tips guide, which also includes information about national collections which can help you in your research. If you are interested in Family History, you might also want to take a look at our Getting Started with Family History page. Please note that if you have relatives who were born, married or died outside the United Kingdom in a country which was formerly a British colony, registers are usually still held by the relevant nation. There are, however, some exceptions to this, and full details can be found on The National Archives’ website. If you need support with your research, please contact us.

If you are looking for a general overview of migration to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean, then why not try What’s Online: Caribbean Connections, an online recorded webinar from The National Archives.

The National Archives has also produced a number of other introductory videos relating to Black British History, including:

Introduction to Black British History at The National Archives
Unboxing the archive: Walter Tull
Making a Mark: the early Black Press, 1817-1948
Racism Past and Present: Mixing therapeutic practice with archival research

You can also learn more about the work of the Black Cultural Archives in London, and its collections, in the first part of the Libraries Connected webinar Black Stories Matter: Understanding our Past.

For younger viewers, The National Archives’ History Hook series also has a short video on the topic of slavery, aimed at Key Stage 3 pupils.

Remember we also offer free access to Ancestry and Find My Past in all our libraries, as well as access to a number of useful websites. If you need more support, why not ask a member of staff for details of our workshops where we can talk you through the sites. We offer free ‘Getting Started’ sessions for Ancestry and Find My Past.