Explore the past

You can Explore the Past on level 2 of the Hive. Using the resources on this floor you can discover the history of Worcestershire from after the last Ice Age to the present day brought to life using the latest technologies.

Archive and Archaeology Service

Explore the Past is home to the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service and anything history related. Under our care thousands of archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes are recorded and  12 miles of original archives are collected and preserved. These are made available to our customers under the guidance of friendly, knowledgeable and experienced staff. All types of research on Worcestershire people and places can be undertaken using the comprehensive resources of the Historic Environment Record and the archive collections.

Explore the Past at The Hive offers:

  • An area for consulting original archives, under the guidance of staff
  • The facility to talk to archaeologists and access the archaeological record
  • A large self-service area for using microform and internet sources
  • A local studies and archaeology library
  • Printed guidance and information to help you find your way around the archive and archaeology collections
  • A conservation room for the repair and preservation of documents
  • Prearranged group visits 'behind the scenes'
  • A programme of history and archaeology based events and activities for all ages and interests

Opening Times

Day  Access to Original Archives  Access to staffed Historic Environment Record  Hive Opening Hours 
 Monday  No access to original archives  1pm to 4pm  8.30am to 10pm
 Tuesday  10.30am to 4pm*  1pm to 4pm   8.30am to 10pm
 Wednesday  1.30pm to 7pm  1pm to 4pm   8.30am to 10pm
 Thursday  10.30am to 4pm*  1pm to 4pm   8.30am to 10pm
 Friday  10.30am to 4pm*  1pm to 4pm   8.30am to 10pm
 Saturday  10.30am to 4pm*  10.30am to 13.30pm (2nd and 4th Saturday of each month)   8.30am to 10pm
 Sunday  No access to original archives  No access to staffed Historic Environment Record   8.30am to 10pm

* Important notice: The Original Archive Area will be closed to the public for lunchtime between 1pm and 1.30pm on the days noted above. All documents will be secured away in our strongrooms during this time and returned to users after the break.

The Hive is open seven days a week from 8.30am to 10pm, during which time visitors can freely access all of our self-service resources; our extensive Local Studies and Archaeology Library and our catalogues and indexes.

Professional Services at The Hive

As well as our public services Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service undertakes a range of work to protect, manage, record, interpret and promote the history and historic environment of Worcestershire.


  • Collect, preserve, make available and advise on archives
  • Undertake digitisation work on our own collections and those of others
  • Conserve documents in our care to ensure their long term preservation
  • Work with districts, county and regional and national agencies to manage and protect Worcestershire's Historic Environment
  • Deliver a wide range of professional archaeological services

Outreach & Visits 

We carry out a wide variety of activities, offering tours, talks and school workshops. For more details see our outreach page http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20019/archive_and_archaeology/1020/learning_and_outreach

Visit the Archive and Archaeology Service website.