MK Archives

Following extensive planning and scoping work, Milton Keynes Council with Bucks CC, MK City Discovery Centre and Living Archive are exploring the potential of creating a City Archive for Milton Keynes. 

Partner organisations work together under the ‘MK Archives’ banner. They bring together the full archival story of the building of Milton Keynes by accessing official and personal papers, photographs, film, video and oral histories. Together they chart the social history of the pioneers, citizens and newcomers to Milton Keynes that have made it their home.

An innovative new two-year pilot archive service is being finalised for summer 2020 at Central Library. This will trial an integrated archives and library service to cover archives, local studies, reference, events, exhibitions, outreach and activity. The co-created programme will offer old and new activities for all audiences. 

Buckinghamshire Archives

Buckinghamshire Archives is the County Archives and Local Studies Library for the historic county of Buckinghamshire.

They offer a range of resources to support research in family, local and house history in the county. They acquire and preserve archive and research materials relating to the historic county of Buckinghamshire. They also help present and future generations by promoting the use and enjoyment of materials for cultural, educational, recreational and administrative needs.

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Living Archive MK

Collecting and sharing the stories of our city and our rich heritage. 

Living Archive collects, preserves and shares the history and heritage of Milton Keynes. Living Archive was conceived as an antidote to the assertion that ‘new towns have no history’. It was nurtured by the belief that ‘everybody has a story to tell’. It has recorded, archived and celebrated the unique history of residents’ lives and sense of place. 

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Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre informs visitors about urban geography and new city planning - as well as the historical and natural heritage of Milton Keynes.

The archive records the fascinating story of the development of the new city of Milton Keynes, and also a wealth of pre- new town history. Many important items have been preserved in our collections - books, photographs, maps, reports, posters, plans and periodicals. 

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MK Council

Milton Keynes Council and Buckinghamshire County Council jointly look after the historic and new town archives of Milton Keynes through a Joint Arrangement, with the collections based at the Buckinghamshire Archives in Aylesbury.

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Milton Keynes Libraries

The nine Milton Keynes Libraries provide an open door to anyone seeking information, books, access to IT facilities or a space to study and meet.

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MK Archives is proud to bring you a selection of collaborative events and activities to showcase the local history and heritage of Milton Keynes.

Discover MK Showcase

Discover Milton Keynes is the primary showcase in the Central Library for the archive, museum and heritage of Milton Keynes and the surrounding area. It has a regular changing series of exhibitions throughout the year more of which can be found on the Discover MK website. 

Lunchtime Lectures

We're planning the return of the MK Archives 'Lunchtime Lectures' at Central Library. After previous years' successful series, we hope to bring you more lectures in due course. You're invited to bring your lunch and join us while you discover something new. (These lectures are adult events).

Explore Your Archive - November/December

The Explore Your Archive campaign showcases the best of archives and archive services in the UK and Ireland. The campaign aims to open the phenomenal archival collections held by organisations – public and private – across the UK and Ireland, whatever their size and scale, and wherever they are.


MK Archives works with Milton Keynes Libraries on supporting exhibitions about the history of Milton Keynes and the surrounding area in The Event Space at Central Library and other locations.


DETAILS at Central Milton Keynes Library (first floor)
June 2022 – July 2022

See ten of Milton Keynes’ most iconic places in a new light as we launch the newly commissioned DETAILS: Drawings publication and accompanying exhibition. 

DETAILS compares and contrasts the first  post-war new town of Stevenage with the final, largest and most ambitious new town of Milton Keynes, created 20 years later.

DETAILS brings new drawings, insights and stories into the architectural narrative of how new towns are one of the greatest building achievements of the 20th Century and the design heritage lessons we can learn for current regeneration and future growth.

Read more about DETAILS here.