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18 September 2014
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The British Association for Local History: Publishes the journal The Local Historian. BALH is the leading national society for local history and local historians.

Federation of Family History Societies: For further information about family history societies in your area or region.

The Ordnance Survey: This site has very helpful material about maps old and new.

The Family and Local History Handbook: A very valuable gazetteer and directory of organisations, explanatory articles, useful addresses and helpful introductory notes is the published each year by The Genealogical Services Directory. It includes a county-by-county directory of organisations and societies; lists record offices and archive repositories; and has directories of museums, libraries and heritage centres.

The Historical Association: The main national organisation for anybody interested in history in general.

The Workers' Educational Association: One of the organisations which holds courses on local history in different towns and villages across Britain.

The British Library: One of the organisations which holds courses on local history in different towns and villages across Britain. It is invaluable because the BL catalogue is now online. As the national library it has just about every book which has been published - excellent for checking details of books and for seeing if there are books on your area.

The British Newspaper Library : This is situated at Colindale, North London, and holds by far the largest collections of newspapers in Britain, including a huge number of local titles. It is a branch of the British Library. The site is part of The British Library site. Select 'Collections' then 'Newspapers' on the home page.

The Library of the Society of Genealogists: Based in London and holds extensive collections which may be of interest to local historians (non-members are charged for use).

The Public Record Offices: In Kew, London, is the location of the national archives of the UK, a very large proportion of which is also important for local history research. The PRO, as it is always known, is increasingly putting its catalgoues and other finding aids online.

The National Library of Wales:Based at Aberystwyth and has most books published on Welsh local history and places in Wales.

The National Archives of Scotland: In Edinburgh, is the equivalent to the Public Record Office but holds a large amount of local archive material as well. In other words, it includes material which would in England and Wales be more likely to be found in a county record office.

National Library of Scotland: Also in Edinburgh. A very useful source.

Places to visit

There are many industrial history and industrial archaeology sites open to visitors. Some of the best are those which try to emphasise what life was like for people at the time, as well as showing the technological side of industrial history.

The Gladstone Pottery Museum : Based at Longton in Stoke on Trent, you will find the last authentic operating 19th-century works in England's greatest pottery-manufacturing centre. .

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum: Based in Shropshire, the museum covers a wide range of sites involving a variety of different industries and forms of transport and can keep you busy for days.

The Beamish Outdoor Museum: Situated near Newcastle on Tyne, it is a large and impressive reconstruction of streets and industrial sites which seeks to show what life was like in the north-east 100 years ago

The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape:This landscape has been nominated as a World Heritage site.

Also check locally to see what industrial archaeology and history sites are open, and visit them to see progress: tin-mine engine houses in Cornwall, water-pumping stations near Nottingham, cotton mills in Lancashire, salt-mines in Cheshire - the list and the choice is endless.

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Published: 03-03-2005

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