Warwickshire Libraries and Information Service 

 Warwickshire Libraries' Local Studies & Family History Service collects and makes available information about the people and communities, and the built and natural environment of the present county of Warwickshire.

The main countywide collection of books and mapping is held in the Warwickshire Collection located at Warwick Library.

Unique collections relating to specific areas are located at the main Warwickshire Libraries:

  • Atherstone
  • Bedworth
  • Kenilworth
  • Leamington Spa
  • Nuneaton
  • Rugby
  • Stratford-on-Avon
  • Warwick.

Warwickshire's county boundaries changed in 1974. Warwickshire Libraries hold documents that relate to the present county and to areas it included pre-1974.  If you cannot find an area you are interested in it is worth asking a member of staff.

A number of resources are held by the Warwickshire Library and Information Service, including:


All main libraries in Warwickshire house extensive collections of current Ordnance Survey maps at 1:1250, 1:2500 and 1:10,000 scales for their local area, and historic Ordnance Survey maps from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition they may hold Goad, geological, land use, post-code and administrative area maps.


Warwickshire County Libraries' local studies collections aim to collect all printed material relating to Warwickshire and its people.  The main county collection is located at Warwick Library, with books both for use in the library and for loan.

Guides to help with research local and family history are also available in the libraries. Books can be found on the WCC library catalogue, which is available on-line at:(library.warwickshire.gov.uk)


Main libraries within Warwickshire hold collections of journals and magazines that relate to the county and to aspects of family history.


Warwickshire Library & Information Service, in conjunction with Newsplan2000 and West Midlands Newspaper Committee, are collecting local newspapers and making them available to the public on microfilm.

The NEWSPLAN West Midlands Database (http://www.newsplan.org.uk/) has details of newspaper titles published in Warwickshire. You can search for copies held by record offices and libraries in the region.

Census Returns

Census returns on Ancestry.com Library Edition can also be viewed for free via computer at all libraries. 

Census returns for Warwickshire parishes' towns and villages are available on microform for the years from 1841. The libraries can provide details of holdings.  All Warwickshire libraries have copes of the 1851 (Warwickshire) and 1881 (national) Census information on CD Rom, together with free computer use.

The 1901 Census returns for England and Wales are available, on a pay per view basis, via the Internet. Vouchers, which can be used to pay for access to the enumerator's entries, can be purchased from all Warwickshire libraries. 

Parish Registers

 Main libraries hold copies of parish registers relating to their area on microfilm. The index of parish registers the IGI (International Genealogical Register) is accessible on the Internet through Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org/). The IGI is an on-going project, with new entries being added all the time. It includes principally baptism and marriage entries, mostly covering the period before 1875. Burials are not usually included.

Marriage register from Rugby 1876. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR36/12) Click here for larger image


Illustrations, Ephemera and Cuttings

 All main local studies libraries have illustration collections containing photographs, prints and postcards of their area.  To view the collections please contact the library concerned in advance to confirm that the images required are available. It is possible to obtain copies of photographs, but copyright restrictions and charges apply.

A collection of newspaper cuttings, posters, playbills, programmes, timetables, election leaflets and a variety of local leaflets may be found at the main libraries.

Photographs and Images of Warwickshire can also be found on the Windows on Warwickshire website (http://www.windowsonwarwickshire.org.uk/).

Poster advertising the execution of Mary Ball, 1849
Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR C.343Lif (L)(P)). Click here for larger image


Trade and Commercial Directories

Main libraries within Warwickshire have collections of trade directories for their area. 

All trade directories in Warwickshire can be found on the WCC library catalogue, which is available on-line at: (library.warwickshire.gov.uk).

The Libraries and Information Service have made available digital versions of all Warwickshire's trade directories online at http://www.midlandshistoricaldata.org/.

More help and information on local studies resources can be found on the Warwickshire libraries website: (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localstudies)

Alternatively you can contact a member of the Warwickshire Local Studies team by email at http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/web/corporate/webmailf.nsf/webmail?openform&librarylocalstudies@warwickshire.gov.uk

It is often worth telephoning a library if you have a specific enquiry, or wish to find out what resources they hold before visiting.  The telephone numbers of Warwickshire Libraries can be found on the Libraries and Information Service website at: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries.