Skip to Content


Discover our collection

Welcome to


Centre for

Local Studies

Current displays & events Current displays & events

To see what's on in Local Studies, please visit the Events Page

Local Studies catalogue Local Studies catalogue

Local Studies books and pamphlets have now been added to the online library catalogue, click onto the Catalogue link above.

Following 3 years of hard work by staff and volunteers the main card catalogue for Local Studies is available online.However if you are looking for photographs, maps, newspaper indexing or family history resources please ask staff to help you use the card catalogues when you visit.

From the collection From the collection

Tea wrapper used by Jane Bryson


A very decorative tea wrapper used by Jane Bryson, grocer and tea dealer, 9 High Row, in the late 19th century.

From the collection From the collection

Edward Pease Public Library, Crown Street, with bust of Edward Pease and Portrait of the first Librarian, Frank Burgoyne,  Entrance of the Town Hall & Coniscliffe Road

by W. Walker Hodgson


This painting by W. Walker Hodgson who resided in Darlington for a while was given to the Library with the complements of Thomas Wood & Sons, November 1909

From the collection From the collection

Thread Mill and Dam, Darlington by S. Fothergill


If you like this painting call in to the Centre for Local Studies to see other framed paintings and images on display around the walls.

From the collection From the collection

Post House Wynd, Darlington by H.S. (attributed to)


We have no information about this artist. If you have further details, please contact us.

If you find this painting interesting why not call in to the Centre for Local Studies and see the other framed items on display around the walls.

From the collection From the collection

Brigham's Bookshop, Coniscliffe Road 

by S. Clark


From the collection From the collection

James Atkinson by an unknown artist

James Atkinson, Oriental Scholar and Artist, born at Darlington, 1780, died in London, 1852. This painting was presented to this Library in 1893 and shows Atkinson in his uniform as surgeon in the army.

From the collection From the collection

North Lodge Park Pond and Boat House, 1899

by P.P. Norman

Discover more of our collection Discover more of our collection

 On this page we will feature some of our most useful and interesting items of stock.

Some items you will be familiar with, others we hope to introduce you to!

Photograph of the month Photograph of the month

Clapham's Rope Works, Tubwell Row

photographer unknown

before 1894


A previous book of the month A previous book of the month


Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress

by John L. Walters



This book features one of Darlington’s lesser-known contemporary famous sons. It is a difficult book to miss, a hefty hardback and in all probability the most colourful volume in the Local Studies room.  Beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated – as befits its subject – it offers an overview of the development of an artistic sensibility over a lifetime. It has more pictures than text and also includes a photographic essay showing Kitching at work in his studios in South London.

Born in Darlington in 1940, Alan attended the Primary School in Corporation Road, followed by the Secondary Modern for boys in Gladstone Street. There is a photo in the Northern Echo in late 1955 which shows him as a 14 year old with his inspirational art teacher, Mr Kay. The school had its own printing press and they were in the middle of producing Christmas cards. He began his apprenticeship as a Compositor the following year. A distinction is clearly made between the alternative careers of ‘Compositor’ and ‘Printer’- the former being more about the design principle. Kitching remembers his mentor in the firm instructing him: ‘“Before you start… think about the job…make a little sketch…” So I pulled out a pencil and I started drawing so I knew what to do before I started…I loved doing that. Then you set the type and did a proof.’ He was often so absorbed in his work that he was late getting home – even though, as his mother remarked, he had the Town Clock to remind him of the time – he just never heard it.

At the press in Post House Wynd they would be producing everything from stationery to Theatre programmes; but Alan knew early on that what he really wanted to do was make posters. He remembers a particularly striking one that fired his imagination about what it was possible to convey in a single image. It was from a United Nations campaign for ‘Freedom from Hunger’ and is reproduced in the book. One of the most appealing features of the book is the space it is able to devote to illustrating almost every reference.

We follow Kitching’s career from Darlington to fame in the Capital through the text but much more through the reproductions of his work. He did indeed fulfil his dream of designing posters – and amongst other things, book jackets, advertising campaigns, and graphic maps. He moved to the Experimental Printing Workshop at Watford School of Art in the 1970s, a period that culminated with the publication of his own book, ‘The Typography Manual’ and after that to London.

But words cannot do justice to the rich and lively clarity of his images.  This is a book that demands to be savoured at leisure, rightly a pleasure in itself as an object and a work of art.

Find previous books of the month here Find previous books of the month here

You might enjoy exploring previous books of the month. You can do this below. Just select a title you would like to find out more about and click on the link.

Remember you can come in to the Centre for Local Studies anytime to see the original book. Just call in and ask the staff. They will find the book for you.

If you have used a book in Local Studies which you have found useful or interesting and you think should be featured here, do let us know.

Enjoy finding out more!


Memorial & Record, European War 1914-1918. Pease & Partners, Limited, Darlington  and War Memorials in Britain by Jim Corke    Find out more



The Brewers and Breweries of North-Eastern England, A Historical Guide by Brian Bennison  Find out more

Life and work of the Northern Lead Miner by Arthur Raistrick & Arthur Roberts  Find out more

The Discovery of Teesdale by Michael D.C. Rudd   Find out more


Lost Houses of County Durham    and also Lost Houses of York and the North Riding  both by Peter Meadows and Edward Waterson    Find out more


                                                                                A History of British Birds by Thomas Bewick    Find out more


The Artists of Northumbria by Marshall Hall  Find out more

Men That Are Gone from the Households of Darlington by Henry Spencer Find out more

Dreaming of Babylon, The Life and Times of Ralph Hodgson by John Harding  Find out more


Sleigh Ride to Russia by Griselda Fox Mason

  Find out more

Ghosts of the North by Melanie Warren & Tony Wells

Find out more


Eric's War, Experiences of a Far Eastern Prisoner of War 1941-1945 by Eric Walter Markham Find out more


The Friends in Council by Samuel Tuke Richardson     Find out more


Lady Fry of Darlington by Eliza Orme Explore here


Darlington Half-Holiday Guide by Mr. J.W. Cudworth Explore here

The History of Whessoe Explore here


Up There, The North East Football Boom & Bust by Michael Walker  Explore here


From Thornfield to Thornfield Road by Patricia Dean  Explore here






Annual Reports on the Health of the County Borough of Darlington  Explore here


 The Mystery of Easter Island by Katherine Routledge  Explore here



Inventry of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses in the North of England by Christopher Stell Explore here






The World War One Memorial of Eastbourne, Darlington by A. Magrys  Explore here


At the House of Edward Pease, Northgate, Darlington

 by Charles McNab Explore here


Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company Ltd Explore here


Charter of Incorporation of the Borough of Darlington & The County Borough of Darlington Official Handbook

Explore here







Darlington Illustrated Year Book for the Municipal Year, 1903 Explore here


Public Catalogue Foundation, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in County Durham Explore here




A History of The Denes, Darlington by Chris Lloyd and Memories of The Denes Explore here



A rhinoceros bone from Brierton, nr. West Hartlepool & a skeleton of elk (Cervus alces) from Neasham, near Darlington by C.T. Trechmann Explore here


 England's Vast Industries & Mercantile Marine Explore here


Henry Pease - A Short Story of His Life by Mary Pease    Explore here


Memories of North Road Locomotive Works   Explore here 



Biographical and historical notes on bygone Darlington by W.J. Mountford  Explore here








The History of the Polam Christmas Tree  Explore here






Durham at the Opening of the Twentieth Century and Durham Contemporary Biographies  Explore here


A North Country Album by George A. Fothergill  Explore here

Kelly's Directories Explore here             

Religion, Business and Society by Anne Orde     Explore here                               

Dodds' Darlington Annual for 1917     Explore here             

From the collection From the collection

Darlington Racing Pigeon Society, Season 1909

From the collection From the collection

William John Cudworth 1815-1906

 Engineer & Quaker teacher

From the collection From the collection

Fair in Market Place

by Arthur Haward

From the collection From the collection

Covered Market with Market Cross by Arthur Haward

From the collection From the collection

The Market Tower by A. B. Dresser, 1912

From the collection From the collection

Laying of the foundation stone of the Edward Pease Public Library, 4th June 1884, photographer unknown

From the collection From the collection

Frederick Milbank 1820-1898

From the collection From the collection

Coach & Horses by Samuel Tuke Richardson

From the collection From the collection

County Borough of Darlington

Darlington Welcome Committee on behalf of their fellow Townsmen & Women in grateful acknowledgement of Loyal & Gallant Services rendered to King & Country in the Greatest of all Struggles for Freedom and the Right.



We have only seen only one other certificate given to a Darlington soldier who surrived WW1 and so far have not found out any other information about when they were presented. We would be interested to know if you have a similar certificate given to your ancestor or if you have more information about the certificates.

From the collection From the collection


Edward Pease (1767-1858), The Father of the Railways

by an unknown artist



From the collection From the collection

St. Cuthbert's Church, 1912 by D. Allston

From the collection From the collection

Arthur Pease 1837-1898

of Hummersknott, colliery owner & iron master


From the collection From the collection

Bishop's Palace, Darlington 1813 by E.A. Elton

From the collection From the collection

St. Cuthbert's Church by B. Bigland

From the collecton From the collecton

Advertisement and 1899 calendar for W. Sedgewick,

family grocer and wine merchant,

97 Bondgate, Darlington

From the collection From the collection

Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington by W. W. Neasham


From the collection From the collection

The Sisters of Mercy Home, Darlington

 by G. A. Fothergill


From the collection From the collection

Thornfield, Darlington by A. R. Longley


From the collection From the collection

Edward Pease 1834-1880 by an unknown photographer

From the collection From the collection

 Opening of the South Park Teahouse, Darlington June 4, 1908

photographed by Alfred H. Harrow

From the collection From the collection

The Old Mill Race, Darlington by Samuel Fothergill, 1884

From the collection From the collection

Cockerton by an unknown artist

From the collection From the collection

Hannah Maria Whitwell (1778-1866) by an unknown artist