fonds YW - Records of York Waits

Identity area

Reference code



Records of York Waits


  • 1979-2002 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.14 cubic metres

7 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The York Waits were founded in 1978 to recreate the original Waits who had been active in York since at least the fifteenth century. In York as in many towns, they were employed by the Lord Mayor as the city’s own band of musicians, paid and liveried by the corporation to play on public occasions. The original group were disbanded under the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835.

The current Waits aim to recreate the original band in its sixteenth century heyday, playing medieval and renaissance wind music on recreations of the original instruments. They generally number between five and six members and give regular concerts and workshops throughout Britain for festivals, music societies, schools and private functions, as well as accompanying dancers and choirs. They have also produced a number of CDs and have appeared on stage and television.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was gifted to the Borthwick Institute by a member of the York Waits in 2003.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Programmes, publicity and concert reviews, 1979-2002, with correspondence, 1983, 1985-1996, 1998-1999, 2001, and photographs, 1986, 1988, 1990-1991, 1999; material relating to individual events in which the Waits participated, including programme, correspondence and publicity for ‘Kossoff at Christmas,’ 1988, camera script and press cutting for children’s television programme ‘What’s That Noise?,’ 1988, programme and rehearsal schedules for Revels of Siena at the South Bank Centre, London, 1988, script, programme, publicity and report concerning performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Accessible Arts Club, York, 1997; article ‘York Music’ by James Merryweather, 2002.


System of arrangement

The archive was originally arranged by year and this arrangement has been maintained, although the year groups have been divided into publicity (including posters, brochures advertising forthcoming performances and newspaper articles), programmes (including both printed programmes and hand written orders of play by members of the band), reviews of performances and cds, correspondence and photographs. In addition, where a particular event or performance has produced a large amount of information this has been listed separately.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received in 2003.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 12.05.15.




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