The Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York cares for one of the most significant collections of historic records outside London. Founded in 1953 to care for the sizeable archives of the archbishopric of York, it has since grown to include the archives of many other organisations and businesses.
The archives include:
- The company archives of the Rowntree and Mackintosh confectionery companies, including photographs of confectionery manufacture, sports and pastimes, social life and education from the end of the nineteenth century onwards, including photographs of armament manufacture during the Second World War. The archive also includes a collection of confectionery packaging and advertising.
- Hospital archives, including the archive of the pioneering, Quaker founded, Retreat hospital for the treatment of mental illness. There are images of patients and staff and scenes of hospital buildings and wards dating from the late 19th century onwards.
- The archive of the scientific instrument makers, Cooke, Troughton and Sims, world leaders in instrument technology who manufactured clocks, astronomical telescopes, surveying equipment (including the equipment used on expeditions by Scott and on Everest surveys) and range finding equipment. There are photographs of factory scenes and instrument manufacture from the late nineteenth century onwards, along with detailed drawings and plans of instruments taken from catalogues.
- The Atkinson Brierley archive represents the firm started by the architect John Carr and continued by successors including Walter Brierley. It includes detailed plans and architectural drawing of houses, stately homes, banks, public house, racecourses, schools, bridges and First World War memorials. Drawings date from the 1800s onwards. Also included are photographs by Bedford Lemere & Co. of buildings executed by the firm.
- The largest collection of wills outside the National Archives, including the explorer William Frobisher, Charlotte Bronte and John Dalton, the chemist.