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Local history

We hold all sorts of information including:

  • old maps
  • population figures
  • trade and street directories
  • electoral registers
  • photographs.

For many places there are also records of the local churches, chapels, schools and landed estates.

A good starting point is the series of document packs, which exist for many of the parishes.  These are on the open shelves in our Reading Room.

We’re also producing short place guides for each of the 300 parishes in Shropshire.

Historically, the parishes were the main administrative units, so many of the sources we hold are indexed by ecclesiastical parish. If you aren’t sure of the parish, then trade directories can help you identify this.


We have a large collection of photographs, dating from the Victorian times to the present day. Most of our photographs and illustrations are on our online catalogue. The simplest way to find these is to type a place name in the search bar at the top of the screen and then use the filters at the left to refine your search with the format as ‘photograph’.

We can provide high quality digital images of old photographs. Find out more by visiting our Image Services page.


Visit our Shrophsire Maps site to discover more about old maps and how to find them.

Information elsewhere

Some local material is held at Oswestry Town Council, Ironbridge Gorge Museum and Library and Bishop’s Castle Heritage Resource Centre. The contact details for all archive offices across England and Wales, are on The National Archives website.

It’s worth remembering that relevant material may be held by national organisations such as The National Archives , the British Library or the National Library of Wales.

Shropshire Council’s community directory gives contact details for many local history groups, who can be a wonderful source of information.

The Historic Enviornment Record is also a wonderful source of information.