Record Offices, Archives, Libraries and Local Study Centres



National Records


A vast resource of information covering the fascinating history of the City dating from the 13th century to the present. These include archives of the City Council and its predecessors, schools, churches, families, businesses and societies, books, maps, watercolours and unique photographs to help you find out about the history of your family, house, street, district, famous Liverpool people, landmarks and events. Visitors are welcome to bring their own camera to obtain copies of documents for personal use only. Anyone intending to publish images from the collections must obtain permission from the Manager.

Address: 4th Floor, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW
General enquiries 0151 233 5817
Microfilm/microfiche bookings 0151 233 5811 Fax (Central Library) 0151 233 5886

The Record Office is just a few minutes walk from Lime Street railway station and many bus routes. Parking on William Brown Street itself is very limited but there are city centre car parks nearby.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm to 4pm Appointments are not necessary for viewing sources on microfilm/fiche but they are recommended if you require reader printers. A reader's ticket is needed to request archives, books, maps, photographs and watercolours. Please bring proof of name and address. You will be asked to leave any bags in lockers before consulting original material. There is an annual closure for stock-taking and special projects during the third and fourth weeks in June.

Online catalogue available to search on the above website.

Copying documents  Photocopying self service for permitted documents - A4 / A3.   No professional photographic service provided   Own photos permitted - use of flash not allowed - use of tripod at discretion of staff.Self service microform reader printer available A4 printout, no A3. 

Records:Local Authority archives from 1207 (minute books from 1550). Ecclesiastical archives: Anglican parishes from1586, Roman Catholic parishes from 1741, Non-Conformist from 1787, Liverpool Diocesan Registry, Jewish archives from 1804. Board of Guardians and other statutory bodies. Hospitals. Family, estate (including manorial) and personal papers include Moore of Bank Hall, Plumbe-Tempest. Marquess of Salisbury, Norris of Speke Hall, William Roscoe, Earls of Derby, (see also Lancashire Record Office) etc.and others. Business, trade union, charity, association and society archives. Literary manuscripts.
Other material held includes newspapers from 1756, street directories from 1766, census returns, slides, photographs, engravings, prints, watercolours, maps. Sound material includes the library of BBC Radio Merseyside. The reference library of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire is housed in the department.
Sources for family history, including St. Catherine's House Index of births, marriages and deaths 1837 - 1940, national probate indexes 1858 - 1946, and 1881 census index for England and Wales.
Please Note: no passenger lists or other records of immigration and emigration are held.
Finding aids and publications:
Lists, catalogues and indexes. General information sheet, Brief Guide for Family Historians, Handlist of Church of England Parish Records, Map of Church of England Parishes, Liverpool and District, c1900 etc., Hand List of Roman Catholic Parish Records, others in preparation.
Authorised Reader's Ticket is needed to consult archives, rare books and audio-visual material. These are available only by personal application with proof of identity. See website for excellent set of pdf guides to the record office's holdings.


The Museum houses a fine collection of maritime books and documents spanning three centuries. These include one of the finest collections of merchant shipping records in the UK. Every aspect of Liverpool's maritime history from the early eighteenth century is covered, and whilst the emphasis is on Liverpool, the coverage is national and international. The Museum website is excellent and gives plenty of advice and information about its collections.

Access - Open Tuesday to Thursday, 10.30am-4.30pm. (2nd floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum). Entry to and use of the archives and library is free. You will need to collect a free ticket from the archives enquiry desk. The tickets will be either an annual reader's ticket, (for which proof of identity will be required), or by temporary daily ticket valid only on day of issue.

They request that visitors use one of the provided lockers for storing coats and bags. There is a 1 refundable charge. You will need a lead (graphite) pencil and paper for making notes. You may want to take photocopies of some documents in which case you'll need change to pay for them.

Laptops must be run on batteries only as they library cannot provide mains charging.

Facilities: Microfilm/fiche reader printers (Maritime Archives & Library only) please book in advance where possible, photocopier, photographic/plan reprographic service.

Before you visit: It is recommended that you consult the Start your search section, and Frequently Asked Questions section on the website. It is advisable that you also consult the helpful (and downloadable) Information sheets which will keep you well prepared before your visit. There is a large selection of these sheets covering all aspects of Liverpool's maritime past and general maritime history. They describe the records held (and those not held) and the information they contain. The keyword facility on the webpage enables effective searching. They can be viewed on the site or downloaded in Adobe Acrobat PDF or Rich Text Format.


(Records held at Liverpool Record Office - link above)

Address: Local Studies and Family History Services, 4th Floor, Central Library,
William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW.
Tel: 0151 233 5817.

Fax: 0151 233 5886
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 0900-1930; Friday 0900-1700; Saturday 1000-1600. No car parking.
Archives held: Merseyside County Council, Merseyside Residuary Body. Liverpool, Southport, Wirral coroners. Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive, Merseyside Fire Service (from mid-19th century). Hospital archives. Methodist and United Reform churches. Social agencies, e.g. Child Welfare Association, League of Well-doers. Business archives. Some family and estate archives.
Finding aids:
Lists and indexes, information sheet, Brief List of Holdings, handlist of genealogical sources.



Address: Huyton Library Civic Way Huyton Knowsley L36 9GD
Tel. 0151 443 3738 Fax. 0151 443 3739
Opening Hours
Monday Friday 9.15am - 7.00pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 12.00pm - 4.00pm
Records: Their libraries have a wide range of local history materials including books, archives, maps and photographs to help you find out the history of life in your area.

Holdings include; Local Authority and predecessor Authorities. Prescot Grammar School 16th to 20th century. Prescot Cooperative Society. Court Registers for Huyton, Kirkby and Liverpool (Islington Division) as well as some of the earlier records from Prescot, St. Helens and Childwall Petty Sessional Divisions.
Other Material includes:
Local census returns, parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts, Prescot records 15th to 19th century, Halewood and Huyton Courts Leet 17th to 19th century. Maps, plans and photographs.

Advance Booking System
Researchers wishing to consult material on microfilm, microfiche or CD ROM, are advised to book a microform machine in advance. Machines may be booked for a maximum 2 hour period per customer, per day. Bookings will be accepted by telephone or by personal visit. Printouts from reader printers and I.G.I machines are charged at 10p per page.
Finding aids: Majority of archive collections listed. Card index to printed local studies collections and photographs.

Location of Collections: main collection at Huyton Library, smaller collections at other branches
Archive service
archive store at Kirkby Library, historic records of Knowsley Council and predecessor authorities, archives viewed by appointment - please call 0151 443 3738
Huyton (Archive photographs series)
Kirkby & Knowsley (Archive photographs series)
Huyton & Roby
Inns of Prescot & Whiston
Prescot Records (court rolls)
From Slacky Brow to Hope Street: a Century of Prescot Football
Maps, postcards etc.


Address: Wirral Archives Service, Lower Ground Floor, Cheshire Lines Building, Canning Street, Birkenhead, CH41 1ND.
Access to the Lower Ground Floor is via Shore Road.
Tel : 0151 606 2929
Fax: 0151 606 2928
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm, and Saturdays 10am to 1pm.

Wirral Archives Service cares for and offers public access to thousands of historical records relating to the history of the Wirral. Researchers are welcome to consult original documents and other sources free of charge. The service provides records for those interested in family history, local history, and maritime and industrial history. The new premises feature a spacious, attractive search room, with microfilm and microfiche readers as well as new computers to help people with their research. Wirral Archives Service is running free Saturday morning workshops aimed at everyone from schoolchildren to family and local history groups. The sessions will be brought alive with original documents and cover topics including family history, the history of Wirral, schools and education, and Wirral at war.

Holdings: Wirral Archives Service holds documents dating back to the fifteenth century, with most dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century.

These documents include:

  • Records of Wirral local government (i.e. borough and district councils), including minutes, building plans and rate books
  • Records of the Poor Law and of local workhouses
  • School records
  • Hospital records
  • Court records, including Quarter Sessions and County Court
  • Business records, including the extensive collection of Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd
  • Records of local clubs, societies, organisations and individuals
  • Solicitors' records, including title deeds
  • Maps and plans, including tithe maps, Ordnance Survey maps, and marine maps of the Wirral Coastline
  • Local newspapers

In addition to these original documents, they also hold on microfilm or microfiche a number of sources of particular use to family historians, including:

  • Census returns for Wirral 1841 - 1901
  • Electoral registers for Wirral 1842 - 1900
  • Records of burials in municipal cemetaries

Researchers requiring parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials should contact Cheshire Record Office or Birkenhead Reference Library; and those requiring birth, marriage and death certificates should contact the Superintendent Registrar's Office, Wirral Register Office, Town Hall
Mortimer Street
, Birkenhead, CH41 5EU
. 0151 606 2020 


Address: Borough Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 2XB
Tel : (0151) 652 6106 Ext 7
Fax : (0151) 653 7320

Opening Times: Monday : 9.00am - 8.00pm, Tuesday : 9.00am - 8.00pm, Closed Wednesday, Thursday : 9.00am - 8.00pm, Friday : 9.00am - 5.00pm, Saturday : 9.00am - 1.00pm, 2.00 - 5.00pm

E-Mail :

Family and Local History Resources:

Census returns (1841-1901), Parish registers, Historical maps, Street directories, Electoral registers (1862 to date), IGI (Mormon Index), GRO Index (Births, marriages and deaths), Newspaper archives including Birkenhead News (1860 to date), Cemetery records for Wirral
Photographic collection (A copying service is available: photocopies, laser copies and photography options available, details of scale of charges available on request)
Group visits/talks can be catered for. Please contact a member of staff for details.

As many records are on film or fiche, it is essential to book in advance a microfilm/fiche reader/ printer to avoid disappointment. Micro prints are available at nominal charges.

Research (to a reasonable extent) undertaken by staff in response to telephone, e-mail and postal enquiries. Charges include up to 4 microfilm/fiche prints or photocopies, and postage.


Provision: a Local History Library Service that operates from two main Units:-
* Southport Library (covering North Sefton)
* Crosby Library (covering South Sefton).
Sefton Metropolitan Borough is in the historic county of Lancashire.
Southport Library, Lord Street, Southport PR8 1DJ 
Tel: 0151 934 2119   Fax: 0151 934 2115


Local History Librarian : Andrew Farthing, Assistant Librarian : Matthew Tinker

Crosby Library, Crosby Road North, Waterloo L22 0LQ Tel: 0151 257 6401   Fax: 0151 934 5770

Email More details regarding holdings and opening hours can be found on the website.


Address Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE  

Telephone (01772) 533039  



Opening Hours see Opening Times within the Planning a Visit page on the record office's web site  

Entry Access member of CARN readers ticket scheme  

Visiting Guide see Search room Rules within the record office's web site  

Directions see Location page within the record office's web site for street map  

Postal Research fee based research service provided - see Enquiry Service within the Enquiries and Research page on the record office's web site      


  • Records of local government: including Lancashire County Council and district and parish councils, and their predecessors, including Quarter Sessions, Poor Law unions and turnpike trusts.
  • Probate records of the Archdeaconries of Chester and Richmond.
  • Records of Anglican, Roman Catholic and nonconformist churches, including registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.
  • School records, including log books and admissions registers.
  • Private records, including manorial and estate records, family papers, and the records of businesses and societies.
  • Maps and plans, including tithe, enclosure and estate plans, Ordnance Survey and other printed maps.
  • Copies of some national sources: including census returns for the whole County Palatine.
Online Catalogue: see Records Search on the website      

Copying documents:  

Photocopying - staff only for permitted documents - see Copying page for charges  

Repro Services - photographic reproduction service available - see Copying page for details. Own photos permitted - use of flash not allowed - tripods allowed - photographing only allowed in lecture room which must be booked - charge 20 per hour  

Microform token operated microform reader-printer available -  see Copying page for charges      




Online Catalogue:

CONTACT  Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service, Duke Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1RL   Telephone (01244) 972574   E-Mail      

ACCESS   Opening Hours Monday 1.00pm - 5.00pm, Tue-Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm, 3rd Saturday in the month 9.00am 4.00pm (Please note - closed Monday am)

Entry Access: member of CARN readers ticket scheme  

Visiting Guide: see Planning a Visit within the record office's web site  

SOURCES HELD   see Family History page within the record office's website.   Wills; see the record office's Wills Database Online covering probate documents proved at Chester for the years 1492 to 1940 and containing over 130,000 entries (name, residence, occupation, date of probate).  

Online Catalogue - see Search the Archives page within the record office's website, see National Archives Access to Archives  web site  

Last orders for documents 45 minutes before closing, there is no lunchtime production between 12.30pm 1.30pm. (It would be helpful if document requests are presented by 12.15pm to allow enough time for production).

Advance bookings can be made by telephoning  the searchroom on 01244 602574.

  • parish registers from the 16th century (for more information on Cheshire parishes and their registers, see 'Cheshire Towns and Parishes' on the Family History Society of Cheshire website)
  • wills and probate records. Details of Cheshire wills for the period 1492-1940 are on our wills database, ( from which copies can be ordered online
  • census returns 1841 - 1901
  • poor law records
  • diocesan records
  • electoral records
  • nonconformist records
  • tithe maps and apportionments (online at
  • deeds
  • estate papers

and the records of : societies, businesses, hospitals, schools, courts, local authorities, collections of local newspapers from the eighteenth century onwards, photographs and other illustrations.

Local Studies Library: located in Cheshire Record Office - the major collection of books, pamphlets, printed maps, trade directories and other local studies material relating to Cheshire.

Details of local studies material such as books, maps, census returns and electoral registers which are available in libraries across the County visit

Post and Email Enquiries: For those unable to visit in person, staff will answer, free of charge, postal and email enquiries on the availability of documents and suggest appropriate types of record for particular research topics. Searches for information in records or other sources held by the Record Office can be undertaken, for a fee, by their Research Consultant.

COPYING DOCUMENTS:   Photocopying - staff only for permitted documents - small charges apply per copy from original documents, microfilm, and the self-service microfilm reader printer in the record office searchroom.   Repro Services - photographic reproduction service available - contact record office for details.   Own Photos permitted with permission from Duty Archivist - use of flash not allowed - tripods allowed - normally no charge but may charge for use of tripods and large cameras   Microform coin operated microform printer provided again, small charges apply per printout.      


Here you can obtain copies of Birth, Marriage or Death Certificates from the period 1837 to the present day or by post. The Register Office has been present in Liverpool since 1837, when the first legal requirement to register births, stillbirths, deaths and marriages was introduced. They hold all the original Liverpool birth, marriage and death registers from 1837 to the present day.

Address: Liverpool Register Office, The Cotton Exchange, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9UF
Virtual tour available on above website

Opening times: Monday - Thursday: 9am-5pm, Friday: 9am-3.45pm, Saturday: 9am-noon              



Register Offices in Lancashire and Cheshire hold records of local births, marriages & deaths back to the start of civil registration in 1837. The county's Family History Societies are collaborating with local Registration Services to make indexes to these records freely searchable via the Internet. Although the indexes are not yet complete for all years and districts, the database will eventually cover births, marriages and deaths for the years 1837 to the present day.

There are weblinks to local family history societies and similar BMD sites across the country.


The materials held in the Special Collections and Archives Division have their foundation in the gifts and bequests made to the University by diligent and generous collectors for more than a century. The collections include manuscripts, medieval to modern; incunabula, early and finely printed books, and archival collections.
Contact information Dr Maureen Watry Head of Special Collections & Archives
Sydney Jones Library The University of Liverpool PO Box 123 Liverpool L69 3DA
Tel: (0151) 794 2696
Fax: (0151) 794 2681
Email: Dr Maureen Watry University of Liverpool Head of Special Collections

Holdings: Too extensive to list here - comprehensive list of University holdings on their web page


The NWRAC represents the interests of the archive community in Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. There are over 40 major archive services in the region with another 100 smaller services and many more archival collections in museums, libraries and other organisations. These archive services are managed by a variety of organisations including local authorities, businesses and academic institutions. This site contains a comprehensive list of local archive services.


CARN, which stands for County Archives Research Network, is a group of record offices that provide a uniform readers ticket that is used to gain admission to any local authority archive within the scheme - the vast majority of record offices are members of the CARN readers ticket scheme. They are free, valid for four years and issued on your first visit to any record office who are members of the scheme.

Application: You must apply in person bringing official proof of identity validating your name with permanent address and signature. You may also be asked to provide two passport sized photographs.          

Examples of documents that could contain the details required include (you may have to bring a combination of two to show name, permanent address and signature):

- Driving licence (name, address and signature)
- Foreign passport (name and signature)
- Bank statement (name and address)
- Building society passbook (only if the address is included)
- Pension/benefit book (name and address)
- NHS medical card (the address is not always included)
- Disabled person's registration (name and address)
- Own vehicle registration documents (name and address)
- National Archives' readers ticket (but need second ID proof)
- Credit/debit /cheque guarantee cards (name and signature)

NB  UK passports do not provide proof of address.  Please also bring something with your current address.


The National Archives (TNA)

Address: The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 08:00 - 17:00, Tuesday, Thursday 08:00 - 19:00.
The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from Domesday Book of 1086 to government papers recently released to the public. You can see this collection at Kew, West London, or view certain documents online. Documents are opened for public inspection thirty years after the file was closed, except in a few cases where the closure period is longer. The National Archives also acts as a clearing-house for information about the location of non-public records and manuscripts relating to British history kept elsewhere in the UK and overseas. Many documents can be accessed online - visit the site for latest news. For family historians, it is the central guide for
Births, marriages and deaths, Census, citizenship and naturalisation, divorce, passenger lists, wills.

Research guides: Extensive guides available online covering all aspects of historical research. An excellent place to start, even if records are not held in the TNA.


A2A allows you to search and browse for information about archives in England, dating from the 900s to the present day. These archives are cared for in local record offices and libraries, universities, museums and national and specialist institutions across England, where they are made available to the public. To find out whether archives are of interest to you, it is necessary to consult a catalogue or other finding aid. A2A allows you to search across detailed catalogues from over 340 repositories in England beyond The National Archives at Kew, so you may arrange to see or to obtain copies of specific, useful, real archive documents with a few mouse clicks. The database is regularly updated, so revisit often for newly-included catalogues.


The Archives Hub provides a single point of access to 18,917 descriptions of archives held in more than 90 UK universities and colleges. At present these are primarily at collection-level, although complete catalogue descriptions are provided where they are available. The Archives Hub forms one part of the UK's National Archives Network, alongside related networking projects. The service is hosted at MIMAS on behalf of the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL) and is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). Systems development work is undertaken at the University of Liverpool.

This Register provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First or Second World Wars. (A record some 60,000 civilian casualties of the Second World War is provided without details of burial location.) The cemeteries and memorials where these names are commemorated, in perpetuity, are located in around 150 countries This database makes it possible to identify the exact location, by cemetery plot or memorial panel, where any given name is commemorated.

Visit the Royden History Index Page listing web sites designed and maintained by Mike Royden
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copyright Mike Royden
All rights reserved