Getting started in local history

Tips for beginners researching the history of towns and villages and key resources to get you started

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  • Local history can cover houses and buildings, streets, neighbourhoods, businesses. It can be a very large subject to tackle, so decide what and when you want your research to cover
  • If you have family members who have lived in the area for a long time, ask them what they remember.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbours to see what they know or can remember about the area.
  • Find out what has already been discovered about the local history of your local area. Your local library will have a range of books on the area and the wider locality.
  • Join a local history society. They are an excellent way of meeting other people interested in researching local history. They usually run events, talks and displays and can offer support in your research.
  • Keep careful notes and records of the sources you have used and the information you have found.