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Local and family history

Information about local and family history resources in libraries.

How libraries can help

The library is a great place to get started or further your research, and to get advice and suggestions on what resources would best help you find the information you're looking for. All libraries have information on local and family history, with more resources on offer in the larger libraries.

Local history in libraries

Books about the history of Oxfordshire and the history of the area around each library can be found in all our libraries.

Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Didcot, Henley, Oxford Westgate Wantage and Witney libraries have sizeable collections of print and microfilm resources including newspapers, maps and transcripts of local parish registers in addition to providing online access. Other libraries have books on their immediate area and a selection of titles of wider interest.

Local history online

Digitised content from Oxfordshire History Centre, previously only available in the centre and in libraries is now freely available online at www.oxfordshirehistory.org.uk.

This easy-access portal brings together a wide selection of digital resources including trade and street directories, photos, early printed maps, tithe maps and links to useful websites for local and family history research.

A few sources remain restricted for licensing reasons.

The Oxfordshire History Centre in Cowley has full facilities and copies of all records and local history resources for the county.

Family history online

All libraries provide free access to the essential family history resources Ancestry Library Edition and Find My Past. These include a wide variety of records and information, including census returns, birth, marriage and death records and military records together with more specialised sources.


Access in libraries.

Find my past

Family history and genealogy resource containing birth, marriage and death records, the 1921 censuses, military records, and local newspapers.

Access in libraries only

Family history help

Experienced Oxfordshire Family History Society volunteer advisors offer one-to-one help desks in some libraries. Sharing their extensive knowledge, they can help you learn how to be an independent family history researcher.

Libraries offering OFHS help desks include:

Please contact the library for the latest details and how to book a session.

Further information including advice on how to prepare for a help desk session can be found on the OFHS website.