This list is divided into five sections:

  • 1. Understanding Title Deeds
  • 2. Researching the history of houses
  • 3. Introductions to researching local history
  • 4. On-line guides for researching houses and local history
  • 5. On-line collections of old photographs useful in house and local history.

1. Sources of help in understanding title deeds

The website of Nottingham University Manuscripts and Special Collections contains some excellent, very user-friendly, accessible skills resources, two of which explain and illustrate everything you could wish to know about title deeds and how to use them in researching the history of houses and their former occupants. Go straight to these

Useful introductory books on Title Deeds

  • N W Alcock, Old Title Deeds: A Guide For Local & Family Historians (2001)
  • J Cornwall, An Introduction To Reading Old Title Deeds (1997)
  • A A Dibben, Title Deeds (1990)
  • A A Dibben, Title Deeds, 13th-19th Centuries (1968)
  • B English & J Saville, Strict Settlement: A Guide For Historians (1983)
  • A W B Simpson, An Introduction To The History Of The Land Law (1986)

2. Starter books on researching the history of your house

  • Nick Barratt Tracing The History Of Your House: The Building, The People, The Past, New Edition 2006,
    £15.99, Available The National Archives
  • Bill Breckon, Jeffrey Parker & Martin Andrew Tracing The History Of Houses, New Edition 2000
    £9.95, Available Countryside Books
  • Adrian Henstock Tracing The History Of Your House, Notts Local History Association 1988
  • Trevor Yorke The Victorian House Explained, Countryside Books 2005
  • Roger Dixon & Stefan Muthesius Victorian Architecture, 1978
  • A Stuart Gray Edwardian Architecture: a Biographical Dictionary, 1985
  • John H Harvey Sources For The History Of Houses, British Record Association, 1974

3. Useful books on researching local history in general

  • J. Beckett, Writing Local History (2007)
  • P. Carter & K. Thomson, Sources For Local Historians (2005)
  • R. Dunning, Local History For Beginners (1987)
  • D. Dymond, Researching & Writing History: a practical Guide For Local Historians (1999)
  • D. Hey, Family History And Local History In England (1987)
  • D. Hey, Journeys In Family History: the National Archives Guide To Exploring Your Past (2004)
  • E. Higgs, A Clearer Sense Of The Census (1996)
  • P.Hindle, Maps For Historians (1998)
  • S. Hollowell, Enclosure Records For Historians (2000)
  • S. Lumas, Making Use Of The Census (2004)
  • M. Murphy, Newspapers And Local History (1991)
  • J. Richardson, The Local Historian’s Encyclopaedia (2003)
  • P. Riden, Local history: a Handbook For Beginners (1983)
  • P. Riden, Record Sources For Local History (1987)
  • G. Shaw, Directing The Past: Directories And The Local Historian (2003)
  • W. B. Stephens, Sources For English Local History (1994)
  • W. E. Tate, The Parish Chest (1969)
  • K. Tiller, English Local History: an Introduction (1992)
  • B. Trubshaw, How To Write & Publish Local & Family History (2005)

4. Useful websites that include information/guides on how to do house/local/family history research

  • University of Nottingham Manuscripts & Special Collections Online Skills Resources
  • Nottinghamshire Archives Archives free “Visitor’s Introductory Pack” contains information sheets on the Search Room, Code of Conduct, Summary of Holdings, How To Use Catalogues & Indexes To Find What You Want, How To Order Documents, etc. There are also many other free information sheets on using specific sources (such as Building Approval applications, the GRO Indexes, the Census, the Cemetery Records, etc, etc.)Nottinghamshire Archives also periodically offer free, 15 minute, taster sessions to introduce new users to different resources, Family History Hours, Lunchtime Talks, etc. Ring 0115-951634 and ask to go on the mailing list for future events.
  • National Archives Research Guides is definitely worth visiting the National Archives at Kew. The free Introductory Tour is essential and very helpful. There are literally hundreds of free handouts, research guides on every subject imaginable, and lots of staff to help you.
  • National Register of Archives
  • Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway
  • The Business Archives Council
  • Access To Archives

5. Searchable collections of old photographs

© Christine Drew – March 2008