Local and family history

​Northamptonshire Studies

We hold a large collection of local and family history resources in our Discover area at Northamptonshire Central Library - including the items listed below. For enquiries about the department please contact Answers Plus.

Discover opening hours


Family history

We provide a large resource for family historians, including:

  • census returns for Northamptonshire from 1841 to 1901 (microfilm and fiche)
  • electoral registers (Northampton only) and poll books for Northamptonshire      
  • free broadband internet access to a range of Family History websites      
  • General Register Office (GRO) index to civil registration births, deaths and marriages for England and Wales 1837 to 2004 (microfiche)      
  • parish registers for Northamptonshire (microfiche) 
  • trade and street directories

Northamptonshire Archives also hold comprehensive family history resources and provide a research service.


We hold a large collection of maps and plans:

  • administration maps, parish and ward boundaries      
  • geological maps, land utilisation and agricultural classification maps      
  • historic printed maps of Northamptonshire (from 1575) and Northampton (from 1610)      
  • some Ordnance Survey maps county series 6 inch to 1 mile and 25 inch to 1mile c.1880'a to 1952      
  • some Ordnance Survey national grid series 1:10,000, 1:2500 and 1:1,250 from 1958 to 1990s 
  • some Ordnance Survey Landranger (1:50,000) and Pathfinder/Explorer (1:25,000) maps


You can access local newspapers dated from 1720 to 2017 on microfilm. Below are a list of libraries that have newspaper holdings. Please contact the library for details of what titles and dates they hold.

Photographs and other images

Around 100,000 images including views of Northamptonshire on a wide range of subjects, also family and individual portraits.

Special collections

  • H E Bates      
  • Charles Bradlaugh      
  • J L Carr      
  • John Clare
  • Philip Doddridge
  • Mary Pendered 
  • Beeby Thompson