Local history resources

Local history resources

Information about our local history collection.

Reference Library 

Our local history collection in the Reference Library includes:

You need to tell us ahead of time if you’d like to see:

  • manuscript material
  • hard copies of newspapers

Ring 0117 9037202 or email refandinfo@bristol.gov.uk to let us know.

You’ll need to bring proof of identity and address to use manuscript material. You can use your passport, driving license, recent utility bill, or a combination to cover both name and address.

Map enquiries can be complex. Make sure you set enough time aside when you visit to look at maps.

Group visits

Schools or groups can arrange visits to look at our local studies and family history collections. For information, email the Local Studies Librarian on refandinfo@bristol.gov.uk .

Bristol Archives 

Our local history resources in Bristol Archives include:

  • official records of the city from medieval times to the present
  • public records of local schools, hospitals, police, courts and prisons
  • poll books and electoral registers
  • street directories
  • maritime records, including muster rolls, crew lists, log books and presentments
  • records of the Diocese of Bristol
  • parish registers and records
  • records of local organisations, institutions and charities
  • records of Bristol businesses
  • records of estates, families and individuals associated with Bristol and its history
  • maps, ranging from early city plans to modern Ordnance Survey maps
  • illustrations and photographs of Bristol
  • archive films of Bristol
  • local history books

You can look at these records in the public searchroom at B Bond Warehouse. For more information, visit our Bristol Archives website, phone 0117 922 4224 or email archives@bristol.gov.uk.

Group visits

Schools or groups can use our education room to study the archive collections. Contact us for information.