Photography collection

This collection contains over 20,000 photographs of the Wakefield District. These often unique snapshots of local places, people, events and jobs offer small windows into our shared past.

Photographs are an enduring record, freeze-framing life as it changes. They capture the moments we may have missed, and somehow they take us back, even if we weren’t there, bringing to life people and places that have long since disappeared.

Knowing about the past in our area subtly changes how we see the present. We are reminded that we can only be a link in a long chain of generations.

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Important collections

Jack Hulme

Jack Hulme’s photographs of the pit village of Fryston, on the outskirts of Castleford, are a fascinating, unique and revealing record of a mining community during the 20th century. He was born in the village, but was unable to work as a miner after being injured. 

When his wife, Rose, bought him a Leica camera he became the village photographer. He captured the ordinary – domestic chores, playing in the street, the daily grind - something that was seldom done then. From the National Strike to the Miners’ Strike, he witnessed the height of the industrial age in Yorkshire. 

Richard Clarkson

Richard Clarkson was a striking miner during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85. He took pictures of picket lines, meetings and rallies, and confrontations with the police. His position during the strike gave him full access and a unique view. He also took snapshots of home life and the events organised by miners' families.

Search the database to explore our photography collection.

Purchasing copies

Copies of some of our photographs are available to buy as a digital file or A4 print for private use. Please see our reproduction fees for further information. If you would like to order a photograph, or if you would like to enquire about using our images in a publication or on television or other commercial use, please email We aim to respond to image enquiries within 10 working days. Please be aware that we do not have high resolution copies of all images so if photography is required, it may take us longer to supply the image.

Contact us

Museums and Libraries

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

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01924 302 104