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Local and Family History

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

Online catalogue now available Online catalogue now available

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.

Item request form Item request form

If you would like to request Local Studies items either in advance of your visit or when you come in, please use this form for guidance. The information staff require to locate the item you are interested in is marked with an asterix symbol *

Please click here for our form.



Starting family history? Starting family history?

 Are you interested in starting to trace your family tree?

Click here for our top tips!

Group visits Group visits

 The Centre for Local Studies welcomes group visits during opening hours. Special interest groups or school and college visits are always welcome. Group visits can be tailored to suit the requirements of the group whether you wish to do some research into a particular topic or have a general look at the resources we hold in the department, we have something to suit everyone.

Teachers and pupils can be shown around all departments of the Library and can do research using old newspapers, maps, photographs, census returns and other resources.

Please contact us at or telephone 01325-349630   

Local and family history introduction Local and family history introduction

The Centre for Local Studies has a large and wide ranging collection of material relating to the Borough of Darlington and surrounding areas.

The department aims to collect and preserve historical and contemporary material and make it available to anyone with an interest in local or family history. The resources (click the link on the left) include books, photographs, maps, posters and ephemera, which tell the story of the Borough of Darlington.

Some photographs from our Local Studies collection Some photographs from our Local Studies collection


Click on the images above to view some of our collections on Flickr™

Not found what you are looking for?

Our Local Studies collection has over 40,000 images

of Darlington and surrounding areas.

Call into the Library to see other photographs.

February display in Local Studies February display in Local Studies
Framed pictures around the walls in Local Studies Framed pictures around the walls in Local Studies

Different types of houses appear in many of the paintings and photographs in the Local Studies collection. Often they are not the main focus of the image, but they build up a picture of some of the housing types in Darlington.

Have you thought of taking photographs of the houses and streets where you live? Although we have photographs of some streets often people have not taken pictures of ordinary houses in and around Darlington. Staff at the Centre for Local Studies are always happy to accept donations of images historic or modern.

Do you know who lived in your house before you? We have resources that will help you!

Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who attended our 'Treasures of Local Studies' Open Day to celebrate National Libraries Week.

We had a great day with over 100 people visiting throughout the day and discovering the collection.

Visitors enjoyed looking at aerial photographs of Darlington, old postcard collections, paintings, maps of the area and newspaper cuttings books amongst other items not usually on display.

If you missed the day remember that you can come into Local Studies and ask to see anything from the collection anytime. Staff are always there to help, and there are always some of the framed picture collection on display around the walls and other displays which change monthly, so do pop in! See what you can discover!


Research Service Research Service

Are you interested in tracing your family history but are short of time or find it difficult to visit Darlington Centre for Local Studies?

Our Research Service may be able to help you.

For more information click here

For charges and application form click here


WW1 Remembered WW1 Remembered

 A Poppy for a Soldier

Like many towns Darlington suffered a devastating loss during the First World War. Of the many Darlington men who enlisted more than 1,100 did not return.  A project to commemorate the Darlington men who died in the war has taken place at Darlington Library’s Centre for Local Studies. Following an appeal, local crafters donated hundreds of knitted and crocheted poppies, and staff invited local people to visit the Centre to find out more about an individual soldier and label a poppy in his memory. These poppies were on display in 2015 and November 2016.


For the last twelve years historian Stephen Nicholson has been compiling a database of information about the Darlington men who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War. Using resources in Darlington Library’s Local Studies Centre and the National Archives, Stephen has recorded the names, addresses and occupations of the men who died. Wherever possible Stephen has included a photograph of the man and an extract from the relevant battalion’s war diary written on the day of his death. Stephen’s research has been published by the Northern Echo and is available to search for free at .  



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