This collection is one of the Institute’s largest and, like the other collections within the library, is composed of published primary source material, bibliographies, archive guides and manuscript catalogues, as well as core reference monographs and periodicals, like the Victoria County History. Chronologically the remit of the collection covers from the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons to the present day, while topically it comprises of material from every sphere of England’s rural and urban past including architectural and archaeological resources of many specific sites.
As well as the ever-growing sub-collections on each of the English counties - including the territories of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - other particular strengths of the collection include an extensive collection of poll books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the volumes published by the Victoria County History, a large collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century directories plus many early printed county histories in the folio section.
The Collection is subdivided as follows:
Bibliographies, Archive Guides and Historiography and Methodology (classmark BC.0)
Covering local history generally and by county
General Works (classmark BC.2)
General Local History & Archaeology Journals (classmark BC.3)
Regional Works (classmark BC.4)
Works covering regions of the UK, including publications from record societies such as:
English Counties and Other Areas (classmark BC.5-9)
Other Useful IHR Collections
The history of London has its own collections within the IHR and can be found under the classmark BL. Our Irish, Scottish and Welsh collections all have large local history sections within them. See also our guide to map holdings.
- Local history libraries/archives. Collections can be tracked down using the ARCHON Directory of record repositories in the United Kingdom, the National Register of Archives and Access to Archives databases via the National Archives website.
- The British Association for Local History
- The Centre for English Local History