Local & Community

In the UK millions of people volunteer to support activities in their local area and communities. The preservation of historical places, artefacts and sites is a valuable part of that community volunteering, while the research and promotion of local history to the communities that it can affect is an important way of connecting people to history and to each other. In this section articles and information will be included on local history activities such as ‘Local History Month’, the activities and concerns of local history societies, and community action and engagement projects around particular aspects of history.

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  • The National Archives

    Article

    The National Archives holds millions of records which can help you find out about people's lives and careers. Their website includes useful guides for those starting out with research, including a dedicated Family History tag. Their online catalogue Discovery holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National...

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  • Public History Courses

    Article

    What is Public History? Public History is about understanding how the past has affected, and is used by, the present. It brings history to life and helps us understand the relationship between the past and the public at present. Public History can involve history in the community, and a Public...

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  • Untold Lives - Sharing Stories from the Past

    Article

    Untold Live - British Library History Blog The British Library's collections contain stories of people's lives worldwide, from the dawn of history to the present day. They are told through the written word, images, audio-visual and digital materials. The Untold Lives blog shares those stories, providing fascinating and unusual insights...

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  • Newspaper Collection

    Article

    Richard Heaton's collection of newspapers consists of over 800 free searchable extracts and full transcripts of English and Irish, Georgian and early Victorian Regional newspapers. It is one the largest free collections on the web full of unique material bringing you one step closer to your ancestors and their world,...

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  • England's Past For Everyone

    Article

    England's Past for Everyone was a local history project run by the Victoria County History. Volunteers throughout the country worked alongside authors and researchers to produce a whole range of new resources. From a series of books to learning resources for schools, it sought to bring local history to life.  The EPE project was...

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  • Victoria County History

    Article

    Local history is the study of places and communities. It dates from the time of the great antiquarian county histories from the sixteenth century onwards. Local history is taught in universities, often at postgraduate level, and each county as well as many villages and towns, have their own societies. Family history,...

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  • Family and Personal History

    Article

    If you are interested in researching your family and personal history there are a number of very good sites online that can give you guidance. 1. BBC Family History The BBC Family History site is a great place to start if you want to research your family history: The Basics...

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  • The British Association for Local History (BALH)

    Article

    The British Association for Local History is the national charity which promotes local history and serves local historians. Its purpose is to encourage and assist the study of local history as an academic discipline and as a rewarding leisure pursuit for both individuals and groups. Local history enriches our lives...

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  • Local History Online

    Article

    Local History Online is a useful resource to find out about local history societies in your area. It has an extensive directory of local societies which has direct links to over 650 society websites and contact details for an additional 560 societies, as well as links to local speakers and...

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  • Thatcham Historical Society

    Article

    The Thatcham Historical Society exists to promote an interest not only in the local history of Thatcham and district but also in historical matters in general. A regular series of talks by invited speakers takes place throughout the year. They have a wide range of subject matter in the talks...

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  • Look Back - But Not in Anger? A Manchester Boyhood

    Article

    The following is an extract from A Manchester Boyhood, the recently-published autobiography of Professor Donald Read, a past-president of the Historical Association. His book seeks to set his personal experience during the nineteen-thirties and forties within the troubled history of the time. His opinions, some of which may be found...

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  • Recent Advances in the Study of Surnames

    Article

    Many surnames have a straightforward meaning. It is obvious that names such as Smith, Wright and Turner come from occupations; that names such as Pickering or York are from the names of places; and that Roberts, Robertson, Robson and Robinson are derived from the same personal name. It is not...

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  • Together on Tape?

    Article

    Within British universities oral historians have had to fight hard to seek acceptance for what they do. But within the wider historical community they have found a far more welcoming reception, with local history acting as a particularly warm recipient of their work. There is little mystery as to why...

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