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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Brigham's Bookshop, Coniscliffe Road
by S. Clark
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.
North Lodge Park Pond and Boat House, 1899
by P.P. Norman
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!
Hospital Bazaar Opening Ceremony, 25th October 1905
Darlington General Hospital, Greenbank Road, officially opened by the Mayor Mr. J.B. Hodgkin, 6th February1885
This month Local Studies are putting out on display a small selection of the Official Handbooks of Darlington. These guides were published by the Corporation, (the Council) as a way of promoting the town, its history, cultural features and businesses. They form a useful resource for anyone interested in researching or referencing aspects of the town’s more recent past. The adverts (sometimes these are indexed) for local businesses are particularly popular with enquirers looking at family or local history. The photographs are also fascinating in the way they offer a snapshot in time – various housing estates just being newly built, for instance. We have a collection of these invaluable volumes in the Local Studies room, dating from 1945 up to the 1970s.
One thing that stands out as a constant is the sense of ‘Pride in our Town’ communicated in the text of these publications. There is inevitably a certain amount of repetition, as paragraphs extolling the railway and engineering history are cut and pasted from year to year – but it is cheering to read that when Darlingtonians, if asked where they lived they were emboldened to declare, ‘the Hub of the Universe’!
Amongst other features, one can track the population fluctuations, statistics about public transport, the various anniversaries we were celebrating – Darlington’s Golden Jubilee, or 100 years of The Northern Echo for instance. A certain nostalgia is inevitable – how things have changed, how quaint the streets looked when less populated by traffic. The Handbooks must have been ideal for new residents, with street-maps and all those useful names and numbers collected in one place – where to go for a bowling green (six options), or a dance hall (two), the schools and churches, hotels and cinemas (there were seven in 1952). There is a little paragraph about the Library itself in each Handbook, with an update about the stock, the opening of new branches, the resources available – do you remember that Storytimes used to be illustrated with an epidiascope? This was a kind of projector which could have shown images from the book or other drawings for the children to look at while the story was being told.
Some of the Handbooks contain quite detailed information about local firms, Cleveland Bridge, Whessoe, Paton and Baldwins, the Chemical and Insulating Company, the Steel Mills and so on. Others contain one-off topics of interest, such as a guide explaining the iconography of the town Coat of Arms, or the history and symbolism of the Mayoral Insignia. Some editions have the text reproduced in French and German – another sign of the self-confidence of earlier decades, and perhaps with the growth of ‘Town Twinning’ in the 1950s, when the administration could boast, from edition to edition, of the town that was ‘famous throughout the modern world’.
A selection will be on display during February in Local Studies.
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!
Muckraker. The Scandalous Life & Times of W.T. Stead, Britian's First Investigative Journalist by W. Sydney Robinson Find out more
British Bookplates by Brian North Lee Find out more
The Quintessential Cornish. The Life & Work of Norman Cornish by Robert McManners & Gillian Wales Find our more
Alan Kitching, A Life in Letterpress by John L Walters Find 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
Ghosts of the North by Melanie Warren & Tony Wells
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
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
Kelly's Directories Explore here
Religion, Business and Society by Anne Orde Explore here
Dodds' Darlington Annual for 1917 Explore here
Darlington Racing Pigeon Society, Season 1909
William John Cudworth 1815-1906
Engineer & Quaker teacher
Clapham's Rope Works, Tubwell Row
South East Aspect of Darlington in 1760
by Samuel Wilkinson, Del., J. Bailey, Sculp.,
Fair in Market Place
by Arthur Haward
Covered Market with Market Cross by Arthur Haward
The Golden Nag, advertisement and 1910 calendar for J. W. Wright, Saddler and Harness Maker, 4, Priestgate, Darlington
The Market Tower by A. B. Dresser, 1912
Laying of the foundation stone of the Edward Pease Public Library, 4th June 1884, photographer unknown
Darlington Market Place, by F. Lawson
Frederick Milbank 1820-1898
Coach & Horses by Samuel Tuke Richardson
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.
Edward Pease (1767-1858), The Father of the Railways
by an unknown artist
St. Cuthbert's Church, 1912 by D. Allston
Arthur Pease 1837-1898
of Hummersknott, colliery owner & iron master
Bishop's Palace, Darlington 1813 by E.A. Elton
St. Cuthbert's Church by B. Bigland
Advertisement and 1899 calendar for W. Sedgewick,
family grocer and wine merchant,
97 Bondgate, Darlington
Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington by W. W. Neasham
The Sisters of Mercy Home, Darlington
by G. A. Fothergill
Thornfield, Darlington by A. R. Longley
Edward Pease 1834-1880 by an unknown photographer
Opening of the South Park Teahouse, Darlington June 4, 1908
photographed by Alfred H. Harrow
The Old Mill Race, Darlington by Samuel Fothergill, 1884
Cockerton by an unknown artist
Hannah Maria Whitwell (1778-1866) by an unknown artist