Local record offices

Monger's Almshouses, Hackney, London. Pen and wash c.1790 (Hackney Archives)

The County Archivist is the custodian of the official county records, but also holds ecclesiastical, parochial, manorial, family and business records deposited by their owners. This usually includes deeds deposited by solicitors, and tithe maps for each parish.

City record offices hold corporation records, including plans submitted for planning permission. It may also hold all kinds of deposited records, similar to those in county record offices.

County and city record offices are open to the general public. A few charge a small search fee. It is always wise and for some offices essential to make an appointment.

Archon gives locations in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Isles and Isle of Man with some web sites.

Partial or complete catalogues of many local record offices are online via the combined catalogues listed in the introduction to archives. Some local archives also have their own online catalogues.

Increasingly local record offices are making images available online of local maps, photographs, prints, postcards and other visual material in their collections, sometimes in collaboration with local museums and libraries. Where such online image collections are available, they are listed by region in the image finder. In some cases maps and other material can be purchased on CD.