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Abbey and graveyard, 1903. Cat ref: COPY1/465Local History - your guide to resources


How to research your local history

The study of local history is becoming more popular all the time. Here at The National Archives we welcome its growth and look forward to your visit.

We hold the records of central government and the courts of law for England and Wales and the United Kingdom. However Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own record offices, so the bulk of our material is on England and Wales.

Local historians will often find a great deal in their county record office, local studies library or sometimes with local history societies. Nevertheless, we hold records that will be invaluable for anyone researching the past of a community.

Beginners' guides


Topics to research:

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Local history documents



You can search for:


At The National Archives

You can:


If the items you want aren't already available online and you can't visit us, you can:



News & Events

Local history fairs

We regularly go to local history fairs - come and meet the experts from The National Archives and Family Records Centre. Go to list

In the Bookshop


Maps for Family and Local History

This guide shows you how three great land surveys can provide information on your ancestor's home as well as fascinating historical snapshots of your area. Find out more about 'Maps for Family and Local History' book


Useful links  For more helpful local history links please visit our Archives portal  Go to the Archives portal