The Archive

The Baths and Wash Houses Historical Archive was founded by Carl Evans around 1990. The formal project emerged from a growing collection of historical papers that had accumulated over many years working in local government and being associated with swimming baths, leisure centres, public laundries, therapeutic baths, and other related facilities. A qualified member of the Institute of Baths Management from 1972 he went on to serve on the Institute’s National Council and was a former a National President of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management.

Subject areas of general interest

Historic Bath Houses & Plunge Pools, Swimming & Bathing Baths & Pools, Public Wash Baths, Cottage Baths, Slipper Baths, Therapeutic Baths, Turkish Baths, Russian Baths, Saunas, Aeratone Baths, Spa Baths, Recreation, Leisure and Sports Centres, Leisure Pools, Open Air Pools and Lidos and all elements associated with these facilities.

The scope includes; the historical development, facilities, associated usage, public, private, and charitable providers, technical development, management, professional organisations, personal associations and recollections, architecture, and associated social history.

The Collection

The Archive is a physical collection of books, papers, photographs, journals, conference reports, other written material and artefacts.

The web site complements the physical archive and is a means of making information freely available. The intention is to make as much of the collection available on line as possible.

The purpose of the project is to;

Encourage the preservation of physical and web based written records, published and unpublished works, and photographs and artefacts related to the evolution of private, public and commercial bathing and swimming establishments as well as the services and facilities that developed alongside them.

Objects are to;

  • Encourage continued research
  • Encourage present day continuous recording and preservation of historical material and to protect information and works from being thoughtlessly discarded
  • Seek contributors willing to write articles
  • Encourage the sharing of memories
  • Encourage authors and researchers to lodge their unpublished academic papers
  • Work in partnership with others that share similar objects
  • Digitise as much of the archive collection as possible and make it available on line through the Archive web site and by utilising other web based services such as the Open Library and The Internet Archive

Long Term Aim

To identify a relevant stable institution that will accept the archive materials and continue the project

Accessing information

Information from the Archive is generally sought by email enquiry and by viewing the web site

Specific papers are provided by emailing PDF copies to the enquirer

As a consequence of items being scanned following requests additional information is made available on the web site


The web site has been identified as being of significance and is now itself archived by the British Library

Writers and Contributors to the Archive

Writers and Contributors | Baths and Wash Houses Historical Archive

Explore the Archive and Get Involved

See if we have information about the Baths & Wash Houses in your local area

Search our record of Baths & Wash Houses related publications

Read about the people that write material for the Baths & Wash Houses Historical Archive

Explore our list of subjects

Take a look at the Baths and Wash Houses Historical Timeline

Find out about some of the people that figure in Baths & Wash Houses History

Send us your story or article

Do you have a dissertation that you would like to see added to the Baths & Wash Houses Historical Archive?

We would like you to get involved in this project.

We are constantly looking for historical material, stories, photographs and unpublished works that may have been completed as part of a university course such as a dissertation. We also seek to preserve the contents of relevant web sites that may be considered no longer relevant to the owner.

This site provides a place to share access to this type of invaluable and often unique work.

If you would like to contribute please get in touch.

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