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Useful Websites for Local History Research

Issue 1.4:      June 2015

Please send any comments or suggestions for additional sites to Hugh Conway-Jones

Gloucestershire Primary Sources                     top

Library General Catalogue
A catalogue of the books, maps, sound recordings and videos held by Gloucestershire libraries for lending and reference. For further information about library services, click here.

Gloucestershire Archives Catalogue
Brief details of all collections (including local studies material) held by the Gloucestershire Archives and a full catalogue of Anglican parish records. For further information about the Archives services, click here.

Gloucestershire Archives Genealogical Database
An index to early wills, non-conformist baptisms and gaol records held by Gloucestershire Archives. For further information about Gloucestershire Archives services, click here.

Trans BGAS Index
An index to articles in the Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society with links to digital images of some articles. For further information about the Society, click here.

Steam Engines
A list of the Boulton and Watt steam engines supplied to Gloucestershire, based on the archives held by the Birmingham Central Library.

Additional Local History Information
Organisations, Guidelines and Indexes to publications.

Gloucestershire Secondary Information      top

Users are advised to check information given in the following sites against original sources:

Victoria County History of Gloucestershire (VCH)
Eight volumes of this important reference work are available online.

Public Houses
Historical information on Gloucestershire pubs and breweries.

Lloyd George Survey of Land Values: Gloucestershire
A survey of land values carried out as a result of the 'People's Budget' of 1909.

Woollen Cloth Industry
Information about the woollen cloth industry in the Dursley and Stroud valleys, with pictures of historic scenes and currently surviving features.

Dunkirk Mill
Information on the history of this former woollen cloth mill and on the processes that were carried out at such mills.

Cheltenham Gazetteer
The origins of roads, streets, localities, water-courses and some buildings within the built up area of the present borough of Cheltenham.

Forest of Dean Coal Mines
Information about the various gales making up the Forest of Dean coalfield.

Gloucester Docks & the Sharpness Canal
Information about the history of what can be seen today, with many comparisons of old and current views. 

Parish Population Tables 1801 - 1901
Population figures for towns, villages and sometimes hamlets recorded every ten years from 1801 to 1901 with details given for the individual parishes of the cities of Gloucester and Bristol.. The information has been taken from Volume II of the Victoria History of Gloucestershire published in 1907.

National Primary Sources                                 top

National Archives (Formerly PRO) Catalogue
A catalogue of the archives of central government, courts of law and other national bodies held at Kew. For further information about the National Archives, click here.

National Register of Archives
An index to collections of records, searchable by Corporate Name, Personal Name, Family Name and Place Name, and a directory of repositories. This was compiled by the former Historic Manuscripts Commission which is now part of the National Archives.

Access to Archives (A2A) Catalogue
A catalogue of selected groups of archives held by local record offices and other repositories.

British Library Catalogue
A catalogue of the collection held by the British Library, including those books that can be requested through local libraries. For further information about services provided by the British Library, click here.

1901 Census
Census information for England and Wales provided by the National Archives. Use of the index based on transcribed entries is free and further details with a digital image of the original entry can be downloaded for a fee.

PCC Wills
Images of the wills proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in the period 1384 to 1858 and now held in the National Archives. Use of the index is free and a digital image can be downloaded for a fee.

National Portrait Gallery Index
An index to a selection of the portraits held by the National Portrait Gallery with images of about half of those selected. For further information about the Gallery, click here

Listed Buildings
Official descriptions of all listed buildings and photographs of many of them on English Heritage's Images of England website.

Local and Private Acts
Chronological lists of Local Acts of Parliament passed between 1797 and the end of 2002 and Private (later described as Personal) Acts passed between 1539 and the end of 2002.

Selected pictures of England at Work and the photographs of Henry Taunt of Oxford compiled by English Heritage. The collection includes over 1500 images of industrial heritage and Cotswold scenes from Gloucestershire.

Church Plans
Plans relating to applications for grants from the Incorporated Church Building Society between 1818 and 1982, including 170 churches in modern Gloucestershire. A software download is needed to see the plans at large scale.

Historical Directories
A digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. Gloucestershire directories include Pigot 1844, Hunt 1849, Slater 1852, Kelly 1856, Slater 1868, Kelly 1897 and Kelly 1914. For details of the powerful search facilities, click on Find by Keywords/Technical FAQs/Advanced Retrieval Methods.

Modern Maps
Modern maps available from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map website.

Old Maps
Large scale Ordnance Survey maps from c1890.

Google Internet Search
A powerful search engine for finding information and images on the internet. 

The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
Search and view the original text of this famous newspaper. (Requires input of a recent Gloucestershire Library card number in the sequence 77xxxxxx.)

The 19th Century British Library Newspapers
Search and view the original text of full runs of 48 influential national and regional newspapers representing different political and cultural segments of 19th century British society. (Requires input of a recent Gloucestershire Library card number in the sequence 77xxxxxx.)

British Newspaper Archive
Search millions of pages of historical newspapers from the British Library's vast collection, including the Gloucester Citizen, Cheltenham Chronicle, Cheltenham Looker-On and Gloucestershire Echo. A search is free and a digital image of the original item can be downloaded for a fee.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Search and view the life stories of over 50,000 people who have shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond. (Requires input of a recent Gloucestershire Library card number in the sequence 77xxxxxx.)

London Gazette
Search and view most issues of this official newspaper from 1752 to the present.

National Secondary Information                     top

Users are advised to check information given in the following sites against original sources:

1881 Census
A transcription of census information for the British Isles available on the Family Search website. For further information about the Family Search project, click here.

International Genealogical Index
Information on baptisms and marriages, transcribed from selected parish records. For further information about the Family Search website, click here.

Medieval Markets and Fairs
A gazetteer of markets and fairs in England and Wales to 1516 with indexes of Persons and Institutions. 

British History On-line
A pilot digital library of British historical sources built by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. 

Old Bailey Trials
Fully searchable texts of the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, during the 18th century. Additional texts are due to be added during 2004 to complete coverage of the period from 1674 to 1834. 

The Workhouse
This site is dedicated to the workhouse - its buildings, inmates, staff and administrators, even its poets 

Research Methods                     top

Local Population Studies
A number of papers are available to download which consider a range of sources and methods commonly used in local population history. These vary in sophistication and complexity and are accompanied by worked examples.