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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.

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!

A painting for March, on display in Local Studies A painting for March, on display in Local Studies

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.

March book of the month March book of the month

Kelly’s Directory of Darlington

These directories were also produced by various other companies including the Post Office and we have them dating back to 1828 for Darlington. The popular Kelly’s series ceased production for Darlington in 1974, but we have something for most years (excluding the War years) in between.

So our book of the month this month is really a collection of Trade/street directories of Darlington and the Northern Counties (Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire mainly).

From the directories for Darlington you can trace who lived at a particular address, find out which schools and churches were in the area and their history, where the corner shops were and where the parks were. Opening hours for the library and the Corn Exchange, where and when the markets were are also part of the information listed. Some also list postal collection times, societies and clubs, train times and in alphabetical order lists of residents.

Many of you will be aware what a great resource our collection of directories are, but for those of you who are not so familiar, do call in and take a closer look. You never know, you may answer some of those longstanding family history questions or you could even test your memory about which shops were on High Row in your younger days!

Religion, Business and Society Religion, Business and Society

Religion, Business and Society in North-East England,

The Pease Family of Darlington in the Nineteenth Century

by Anne Orde,

published in 2000


This modern history of the Pease family is an interesting, informative and very readable, study of the relationship between the Pease family’s business interests and their religious beliefs.

Anyone living or working in Darlington will be aware of the Quaker’s influence over many aspects of life in the town,  the legacy which they left behind, and especially of the Pease family, with Joseph's statue on High Row.

Anne Orde has divided the work up into chapters on different areas of religion, business and politics. She studies the Pease’s interests in the railways, and the iron and coal industries and looks at their role in local and national politics too.

The chapter on the Pease family’s social and domestic life gives an insight into individual Pease members dress, personal thoughts and details about their houses and fruit from their gardens, bringing them back home to their day to day lives in Darlington in the nineteenth century.

The book is well referenced by footnotes on each page so readers and researchers can easily follow through further reading. There is a comprehensive bibliography too and photographs of some of the family members. From the clear simplified family tree readers can easily identify individuals.

The book is available in the Centre for Local Studies, together with other books and information about the Quakers in Darlington.

Dodds' Darlington Annual Dodds' Darlington Annual

Dodds’ Darlington Annual  1917

This Darlington annual is the last in a series which we have in the Centre for Local Studies collection and supplements the information in the more widely known Post Office, Kelly’s and Ward’s Directories.

These books date back to 1897 and have a wealth of local information in them. Churches, Friendly Societies, Magistrates, and Members of the Town Council are all listed.

Unique to the 1917 edition is The Town’s Roll of Honour and by the time of printing nearly 300 men had given their lives. Their name, rank and regiments are listed, together with their last Darlington address. There is also a section listing recipients of various honours including the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order, and other honours such as Croix De Guerre, and Italian Military Medal.

A list of streets organised in Ward Areas is also useful. The list includes a location which is especially useful for some of the lesser known yards which have now vanished.

There are also interesting advertisements, one for Manipulative Surgery (Bonesetting), for Thomas W. Tow, at 8, Granville Terrace, Bondgate, caught our eye.  The advert tells us that Mr. Tow was the only Bonesetter residing in Darlington and could be visited any day from 10am -7pm.

General sections also include world events October 1915 - September 1916, and household hints for the sick room – an interesting and sometimes amusing read.

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!



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




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