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18 September 2014
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Local History: Top Tips

By Dr Alan Crosby
Image of Hull Bridge in East Yorkshire, 1937
Hull Bridge, East Yorkshire, 1937 

Anyone can learn how to do local history. Find out more about the skills you need and the help you can find to get started. Top tips for aspiring local historians to help you go on to do a project of your own.

Get started

First choose your subject. Think about what interests you particularly. What intrigues you about your area? It might be, for example:

  • the history of your house
  • the history of your house
  • the development of your town or village
  • a local industry, craft or business
  • an area of countryside near you
  • the lifestyles of your family in the past
  • a particular theme such as domestic servants at the nearby 'big house'

When you have thought about what really interests you, and found something that you feel 'comfortable' with, you can begin work. Don't be too ambitious to begin with - start out with modest ambitions. You may find that what you think will be a short project just grows and grows.

There are not many people who set out with the aim of writing a full-sized book, or discovering the history of an entire community, and you don't have to start out in that way either.

Published: 2005-03-03

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