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Local History for Continuing Education: Free online resources

A guide to finding information on Local History resources in the Rewley House Continuing Education Library

Key resources

This box lists some key web resources on Local History that are freely available to all.  Many towns, cities and counties have their own societies which may also have websites.  If you are interested in a particular location, try a Google search, e.g. for Chepstow, Gwent, try typing 'local history Chepstow' in the Google search box and click on the results!

Archaeology Data Service

Archaeology Data Service is a key database of resources on UK Archaeology and the Historic Environment from the Palaeolithic to the present day.

Use ARCHSEARCH to search and browse the Historic England National Record of the Historic Environment and other  UK historic environment inventories.

Use LIBRARY to access unpublished fieldwork reports; to search references to archaeological literature (especially older publications); to access a number of journal titles, including older issues of local history and archaeological society journals.

Maps for Local and Family History

The National Archives website gives links to several sources, eg tithe maps, enclosure maps and the Ordnance Survey. See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/maps/maps-family-local-history.htm.

For Oxfordshire resources, see https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/history/oxfordshire-history-centre/collections-archives-and-records/maps.  County record offices and local history societies 

Old-Maps https://www.old-maps.co.uk/ describes itself as Britain's most comprehensive historical map archive. There's plenty on offer on a free-to-browse basis as well as subscription services.

Images for Local History

Historic England holds a vast range of photographs, plans and drawings in their public archive. 

Country Life Picture Library gives access to images from the photo-archive of Country Life magazine which may be of use to local history students.  These include country houses, gardens, landscapes and countryside. 

Open Access resources

The following key resources provide free access to high quality academic resources.