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, Oxfordshire County, 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.

In response to the current situation, Oxfordshire Library members now have temporary access to this fantastic family history resource from home courtesy of Proquest and its partner, Ancestry. This will be reviewed periodically by the providers.

How to access Ancestry from home

Sign in through your library account with your membership number and PIN and select the link at the top of the page. If you are not a member, you can apply to join.

Find my past

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

Access in libraries only

Family history help

Customers who would normally have booked a one-to-one help session in a library with an experienced Oxfordshire Family History Society volunteer advisor, can contact the OFHS helpdesk by email or phone.