Current Projects

Tang Hall Big Local Archaeology

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Over Summer 2017, we’ll be heading to the Tang Hall area of York to help local residents explore their area’s history in partnership with Tang Hall Big Local. If you live in the area, come along to one of our community events to find out about Tang Hall’s Roman history and look at the evidence your neighbours from the past have left behind.

Bring fragments of pottery from your garden or allotment to our pottery identification day, and take part in our Community Pottery Survey. With the help of Tang Hall residents, we will put together an exhibition later this year that showcases the archaeology of this area as well as replica pottery produced this summer with the help of Graham Taylor (BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down).

Learn more about the project and our upcoming events.

Coppergate Memories

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Between 1976 and 1981, hundreds of amateur archaeologists helped out at the Coppergate Dig. An excavation like no other, the Coppergate Dig opened a window into the everyday lives of the inhabitants of the city of Jorvik and expanded our knowledge of the Viking world.

With each new find giving new insights into life in York a thousand years before, the Dig attracted attention from across the world. It was visited by royalty, celebrities and more than a million people who came to see the dig for themselves. Out of the excitement and interest in Viking life sparked by the Coppergate Dig came the JORVIK Viking Centre.

In 2017 the Community Engagement team will begin to record memories of this incredible event. If you were involved or if you visited, and you have memories or photos that you would like to share, email

 Waterproof Memories

waterproof memories

On the 8th April 2017, JORVIK Viking Centre reopened its doors after 15 months closed. Like many homes and businesses in York, the Centre was badly hit by the floods of December 2015, some of the worst in living memory.

Waterproof Memories is an oral history project of the JORVIK Community Engagement team that grew out of our experience. We wanted to record our own memories of flooding, and we also wanted the stories of our community, the people of York. By doing this, we want to reflect on our shared experience of the floods and the rebuilding process. We also want to celebrate the resilience of our community and our plans for the future!

We are interviewing local residents, business owners and employees, emergency responders, cleanup volunteers and everybody else who has a story to tell about how the floods affected them and how we responded as a community.We also would like your pictures of the city during the floods, so that we can have a visual as well as an audio record of the landscape of York at the time.

If you would like to be involved in the project, have a photo for our archive or would like to be interviewed by our staff and volunteers to tell your story, email

Bloodaxe Book Challenge

Bloodaxe Book Challenge 2017

We are very excited to be launching our fifth Bloodaxe Book Challenge with Explore York Libraries and Archives this autumn.

This challenge encourages young readers in the city to read four books on a history theme (which can include books about dinosaurs, princesses and knights for our youngest readers!).

Readers collect stickers as they finish each book and tell their local librarian all about it!

When they have completed the challenge Bloodaxe Challengers are entered into a prize draw to meet our Viking Festival author at a special event during Festival week.

Look out for events at the libraries throughout the challenge. The Bloodaxe team will also be working with local schools as part of our Festival community initiatives programme.

Community Engagement Events

As part of the Big City Reads and to mark the work we have been doing to explore the First World War and it’s impact in York we are holding two events in November.

On 11th November we will have our Landscapes display, soundscape, live interpretation and poppy crafting at DIG between 6 and 9pm. All welcome to join us at this free event.

On the 19th November our Landscapes of Remembrance display will be at Acomb Explore between 9am – 2pm.

Find out more about the Big City Read here.

In the new year we are delighted to be able to display our First World War projects in the Community Room at York Castle Museum. More details to follow soon!