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Research the history of your area

Before you come in -

  • decide what you want to do - are you interested in the landscape, buildings or people?
  • do your homework - collect as much information as you can about the area from local people.
  • contact your local history society - many towns and villages have a local history society which will be able to provide you with local information and links.  For more information contact the Gloucestershire Local History Association for Gloucestershire and Avon Local History and Archaeology for South Gloucestershire.
  • some South Gloucestershire libraries have local history material in addition to books on the area. Some Gloucestershire libraries are local and family history centres.
  • The research mini guides explain how to use key archives and how to find them in our online catalogue.
  • check the Gloucestershire Archives' online catalogue - which contains descriptions of the sources available for your area. You can pre-order documents which you would like to see. Our short online tutorials will show you how to get the most out of your catalogue search.
  • is your place of interest in South Gloucestershire? Many records relating to South Gloucestershire are held by Gloucestershire Archives @ the Heritage Hub under a partnership agreement with South Gloucestershire Council. But some records may be held at Bristol Archives or elsewhere. Use our downloads to help you find what's where. (The South Gloucestershire research mini guide will give you an overview.  The Guide to Archive Sources for the History of South Gloucestershire is a more comprehensive and detailed resource.) And remember, these places were all in the historic county of Gloucestershire until 1974 so "Gloucestershire" information and sources may still be relevant.

If you're interested in the landscape, start with:

If you're interested in buildings, start with:

  • Trade and street directories
  • Planning records
  • Taxation records
  • Deeds

If you're interested in people, start with:

Printed sources


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