Local History Publications


The Local Historian's Encyclopedia - John Richardson

This 3rd edition has been completely revised and expanded once more. Divided into themes, this very popular book gives meanings of many terms as well as detailing legislation which affected the lives of everyone. The sections range widely over diverse subjects such as Land and Agriculture, Heraldry, Social Welfare, Coins, Transport, Archaeology and Palaeography.

'Probably the most useful book for the working local historian ever published.' BBC Television

The Local History Companion - Stephen Friar

An encyclopedic A-Z of British local history, archaeology, architecture and topography, covering every aspect of our heritage. This book should prove of interest to amateur historians, ramblers, browsers and professional historians. Stephen Friar is a writer and former head teacher who specializes in the topics of heraldry and local history. He is also the author of "A New Dictionary of Heraldry".

English Local History: An Introduction - Kate Tiller

This guide is designed as an introduction to local history for anyone who wants to know how local communities lived in the past and how to find out more about them. General themes and and questions for each historical period, combined with specific case histories, highlight the varieties of local experience and show how available materials can be pieced together. The book stresses the interconnectedness of local history with wider issues and urges local historians to abandon reliance on unconnected facts and dig deeper to uncover the general trends at work

Starting Out in Local History - Simon Fowler

A useful guide for the novice (or experienced person) who wants to learn about researching local history

Research - Recommended Further Reading

NW Alcock, Old Title Deeds: A Guide for Local and Family Historians (Phillimore 2001 edn)

Jonathan Bardon, A Guide to Local History Sources in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (2000)

Joy Bristow, The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms (Countryside Books 2001 edn)

Michael Cox, Exploring Scottish History: A Directory of Resource Centres for Scottish Local and National History in Scotland (1992)

Susanna Guy, English Local Studies Handbook: A Guide to Resources for each County including Libraries, Record Offices, Societies, Journals and Museums (1992)

David Hey, Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (1996)

David Moody, Scottish Local History: An Introductory Guide (1986)

Philip Riden, Local History: A handbook for beginners (2nd ed, 1998)

Philip Riden, Record Sources for Local History (1987)

Cecil Sinclair, Tracing Scottish Local History: A Guide to Local History Research in the Scottish Record Office (1994)

JG Ryan, Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History (1988)

WB Stephens, Sources for English Local History (1994)

WE Tate, The Parish Chest: A Study of the Records of Parochial Administration in England (1969)

John West, Town Records (1983)

John West, Village Records (2nd ed, 1982)

Trevor Yorke, Tracing the History of Villages (Countryside Books)

Special subjects

John Stuart Batts, British Manuscript Diaries of the 19th Century: An Annotated Listing (1976)

JA Edwards, Historical Farm Records (1973)

Peter Edwards, Farming: Sources for Local Historians (1991)

Peter Edwards, Rural Life: Guide to Local Records (1993)

Mary Ellis, Using Manorial Documents, Public Record Office Readers' Guide No 7 (1997)

A Elton, B Harrison and K Wark, Researching the Country House: A Guide for Local Historians (1992)

Stephen Porter, Exploring Urban History: Sources for Local Historians (1990)

Eric J Evans, Tithe: Maps, Apportionments and the 1836 Act, The Local Historian at Work 6 (1993)

PDA Harvey, Manorial Records, British Records Association, Archives and the User Guide No 5 (1984)

Brian Paul Hindle, Maps for Local History (1988)

Roger Kain and Hugh Prince, The Tithe Surveys of England and Wales (1985)

Dennis Mills and Kevin Schurer (eds), Local Communities in the Victorian Census Enumerators' Books (1996)

Alan Rogers and Trevor Rowley (eds), Landscapes and Documents (1974)

Gareth Shaw and Allison Tipper, British Directories: A Bibliography and Guide (1989)

Francis Sheppard and Victor Belcher 'The Deed Registries of Yorkshire and Middlesex' in Journal of the Society of Archivists 6 (1980), pp274-286

Standing Conference for Local History, Hedges and Local History (1979)

WB Stephens and RW Unwin, Materials for the Local and Regional Study of Schooling 1700-1900, British Records Association, Archives and the User Guide No. 7 (1987)

Anne Tarver, Church Court Records: An Introduction for Family and Local Historians (1995)

WE Tate, A Domesday of English Enclosure Acts and Awards (1978)

Non-manuscript sources

MW Barley, A Guide to British Topographical Collections (1974). [A brief guide to collections of topographical illustrations in public repositories]

Stephan Caunce, Oral History and the Local Historian (1994)

Peter Dale (ed), Museums and Special Collections in the United Kingdom (2nd ed, 1996)

David Marcombe, Sounding Boards: Oral Testimony and the Local Historian (1995)

George Oliver, Photographs and Local History (1989)

John Wall, Directory of British Photographic Collections (1977)

Writing and Publishing

garston How to Write and Publish Local History - Bob Trubshaw

'How to Write and Publish Local History' guides readers through all the stages needed to produce professional-looking local history publications, and to successfully promote and sell them. All advice is based on current UK practice.

"Helpful, unassuming, practical and very much to the point, How to Write and Publish Local History is a most enjoyable read for any would-be author and is strongly recommended." Family and Community History

Researching and Writing History A Practical Guide David Dymond

An excellent book, distributed by Phillimore for the British Association for Local History. "This book could, and should be read by anyone contemplating writing local history." Association for Local History Tutors Bulletin

Local History and the Landscape

Fields in the English Landscape (Sutton History Handbooks) - Christopher Taylor

Despite urban expansion and changes in agriculture, fields are still the most characteristic feature of the English landscape. But why are fields the size and shape they are, and how can you tell a Saxon one from a medieval one? This book is a chronological history of the field and of landscape evolution. As far as possible, Christopher Taylor has used evidence of what remains today and interprets this with the help of archaeological discoveries, documentary evidence and the observations of his own fieldwork. He aims to make the reader familiar with the historical evolution of the English landscape through its fields, paddocks, water-meadows, terraces, and ridge-and-furrow patterns

Interpreting the Landscape: Landscape, Archaeology and Local History Michael Aston

Most places in Britain have had a local history written about them. Up until this century these histories have addressed more parochial issues, such as the life of the manor, rather than explaining the features and changes in the landscape in a factual manner. Much of what is visible today in Britain's landscape is the result of a chain of social and natural processes, and can be interpreted through fieldwork as well as from old maps and documents. Michael Aston uses a wide range of source material to study the complex and dynamic history of the countryside, illustrating his points with aerial photographs, maps, plans and charts. He shows how to understand the surviving remains as well as offering his own explanations for how our landscape has evolved.

Landscape History - Recommended Further Reading

JA Edwards, Historical Farm Records (1973)

Peter Edwards, Farming: Sources for Local Historians (1991)

Peter Edwards, Rural Life: Guide to Local Records (1993)

Eric J Evans, Tithe: Maps, Apportionments and the 1836 Act, The Local Historian at Work 6 (1993)

Brian Paul Hindle, Maps for Local History (1988)

Alan Rogers and Trevor Rowley (eds), Landscapes and Documents (1974)

WE Tate, A Domesday of English Enclosure Acts and Awards (1978)



Local History Magazine

Local History Magazine was established in 1984 and is published six times a year, available by postal subscription only. Every issue contains a mixture of news, articles, book and periodical reviews, readers' notices and information.

The Local Historian

Published by the British Association for Local History, their purpose is to encourage and assist the study of Local History as an academic discipline and as a rewarding leisure pursuit for both individuals and groups. Published in February, May, August and November.

All back copies are available and can be purchased for 2.50 each. The Local Historian contains articles and features for the general reader that may be of a wide, perhaps national, application or may reflect a local subject. There is emphasis on applying principles and methods to local research and study, so that you can benefit from the work of others. Family historians can learn about the local world in which their forebears lived and worked. There are extensive reviews and lists of publications.

Local History News

The news magazine of the British Association for Local History is a magazine with topical reports of local societies, record offices, libraries, museums and discussion of issues of interest to local historians. Published in February, May, August and November each year.


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