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 at various libraries (microfiche).

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
  • Sir Henry Dryden
  • Mary Pendered 
  • Beeby Thompson