Explore York Libraries & Archives

In May 2014 we became Explore York Libraries and Archives, a mutual benefit society with charitable status. The new company, more commonly known as Explore, is made up of the libraries and archives services which were previously part of City of York Council. It is owned by its community members and staff, and is managed by a Chief Executive and representative Board.

Explore has a contract with City of York Council for five years. Staff who were previously employed by the council have transferred across to the new independent organisation, which is committed to improving the City Archive as well as keeping all York’s 14 libraries, two reading cafes and the mobile library open, with paid staff in every one.

The new society is the first of its kind in the country – its creation has been led by its own staff, and it combines libraries and archives in a way not seen elsewhere.  It is two thirds owned by the community and one third owned by its staff. The new company has exempt charitable status, which means it will have access to sources of funding not previously available to the council.

Here is our latest balance sheet for information


Here is the latest Auditor’s Report

Explore Management Team

CEO portraitFiona Williams (pictured)
Chief Executive

Sarah Garbacz
Chief Operating Officer

Victoria Hoyle
City archivist

Barbara Swinn
York Explore Manager

Alan Wadsworth
Chief Finance Officeralan.wadsworth@exploreyork.org.uk