This collection is one of the Institute’s largest and includes published primary sources, bibliographies, and guides and catalogues to manuscripts and archives. Secondary works include core reference monographs and many periodicals. There is much of value for national history as well as every locality.

The collection is divided between general or regional materials and a section for each English county, as well as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Wales, Scotland and Ireland each has its own collection arranged in a similar way. Chronologically, the remit runs from the early Anglo-Saxons to the present day. We hold material from every sphere of England’s rural and urban past including architectural and archaeological resources.

Strengths include an extensive collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century poll books, a large collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century directories, many early county histories and a complete set of the Victoria County History.

Arrangement of the Collections

Bibliographies, Archive Guides, Historiography and Methodology

Classmark BC.0

A range of bibliographies and guides both generally and by county.

General Works

Classmark BC.2


General Local History & Archaeology Periodicals

Regional Works

Classmark BC.4

Works covering regions of the UK, including publications from record societies such as:

English Counties and Other Places

BC.51  Bedfordshire
BC.52  Berkshire
BC.53  Buckinghamshire
BC.54  Cambridgeshire
BC.55  Cheshire
BC.56  Cornwall
BC.57  Cumbria
BC.58  Derbyshire
BC.59  Devon
BC.60  Dorset
BC.61  Durham (County)
BC.62  Essex
BC.63  Gloucestershire
BC.64  Hampshire & the Isle of Wight
BC.65  Herefordshire
BC.66  Hertfordshire
BC.67  Kent
BC.68  Lancashire
BC.69  Leicestershire
BC.70  Lincolnshire
BC.72  Norfolk
BC.73  Northamptonshire
BC.74  Northumbria
BC.75  Nottinghamshire
BC.76  Oxfordshire
BC.77  Rutland
BC.78  Shropshire
BC.79  Somerset
BC.80  Staffordshire
BC.81  Suffolk
BC.82  Surrey
BC.83  Sussex
BC.84  Warwickshire
BC.85  Wiltshire
BC.86  Worcestershire
BC.87  Yorkshire
BC.91  Channel Islands
BC.95  Isle of Man

Other Collections

Other IHR collections

In the IHR

Other organisations and resources

Further Help

Contact us if you would like help on finding or using our collections, or if you have any comments or suggestions about the content of this guide. We are happy to help.

You can also book a tour or training session.