Research links, and a few tips, for visual resources and old media. Part of Cutlock & Co’s Research links set of pages. Further suggestions welcome.
- British Newspaper Archive – the digitised British Library collection is also gradually being added to FindMyPast and Genes Reunited. There is a charge.
- Welsh Newspapers, from National Library of Wales, free. More content gradually being added.
- National Library of Scotland has a collection of ‘broadsides’.
- The Scotsman Digital Archive.
- Isle of Man iMuseum Newspapers and Publications.
- Isle of Wight County Press Archive.
- Cumberland & Westmorland Newspaper Archives – transcriptions.
- Local Recall – covering Norfolk from 150 years of history embedded in pages of the Eastern Daily Press.
- Teesdale Mercury Archive, a key resource of the Teesdale Mercury Access Project, a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers
- Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition has free online editions of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers, including the Chartist Northern Star.
- The Gazette publishes official notices (not technically a newspaper) in London, Edinburgh and Belfast. Bankruptcy, death notices (for claims on the estate) etc.
- Irish Times.
- Irish Newspapers Archive.
- Europeana (from the European Union) has a newspapers collection – four centuries of newspapers from across the continent.
- Chronicling America from US Library of Congress.
- Old Fulton NY PostCards has loads of New York State historical newspaper pages, but also wider US and Canada. Ssearch to find a pdf – note that it is a quirky site.
- Nebraska Newspapers, a project of University of Nebraska Lincoln and Nebraska State Historical Society.
- Seward Memorial Library Digital Archives – local papers from this part of Nebraska. New 2017? – see Local papers for local people.
- Portal to Texas History from University of North Texas has a range of publications from that state.
- Australia’s Trove.
- Papers Past – New Zealand newspapers and periodicals from 19th and 20th centuries. Also parliamentary papers, with other documents to come.
- Ancestry has Newspapers.com, which can be added to your subscription. Largely American titles.
- Google’s Newspaper Archive. The British ones might take a bit of finding – mainly US and Canada, but a few Scottish too.
- Wikipedia list of online newspaper archives.
- Project Gutenberg has old periodicals as well as books which are out of copyright.
Cutlock & Co has a number of articles based around newspaper cuttings, mainly derived from Ancestry’s own collection (some now on the separate Newspapers.com?) and FindMyPast’s. Other pieces contain a cutting or two – for example (at Oct. 2019): More than a musical footnote, Political shocks ruin the inventing business.
Plus geography, place names, etc.
Helpful note from WDYTYA magazine, Feb. 2015, on Ordnance Survey maps: The original survey started in 1784 and updates, such as railways, were overlaid on later maps. Thus, a map may show a village as it was in 1790 with a railway built in 1850 running past it. A second survey started in 1840 … produced much less anachronistic impressions …
- Familysearch has a set of useful boundary maps for 1851 – registration districts, counties, diocese etc.
- British History Online has a historic maps section, including large scale 1:2500 for some areas.
- A Vision of Britain through time has an old maps section, and lots of historical info on places.
- Old Maps Online is “an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world”.
- British Historic Towns Atlas features Norwich, among other towns.
- Peoples Collection Wales has a locate section where you can view old Ordnance Survey maps, 1st to 4th Edition (1868 to 1954).
- Welsh Tithe Maps, Places of Wales, from National Library of Wales.
- National Library of Scotland Maps Section has been putting online a range of maps from across the UK. This includes Ordnance Survey, with for instance their England and Wales 6 inch 1842-1952 series, and a counties index list. Plus their very detailed 5 feet to a mile 1890s London maps.
- British Library – Topographical Collection of George III on Flickr “contains drawn and printed maps, views and atlases produced between 1500 and 1824”.
- Rail Map online – Historic railways, railroads and tramways.
- Populations Past shows various population data (e.g. infant mortality, working women) extracted from 1851 to 1911 censuses for England and Wales, against old maps.
- The distribution map of surnames in Britain from publicprofiler site seems to have stopped working but worth checking just in case.
- Map History info site.
- Check the coverage of tithe maps and the 1910 ‘Domesday’ survey at The Genealogist (the site is still developing this resource, with only a little of England covered at Jan 2019).
- Cassini Historical Maps is a commercial source.
- New York Public Library has “more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads” for open access. Mainly New York state and along the eastern seaboard?
Specific Places (UK)
- Locating London’s Past. “Search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and .. map the results on to a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque’s 1746 map.” Also see Layers of London – map layers include Tudor, before and after the Great Fire, and mid-18th century. ‘Booth maps’ as per next item, have also been added (at summer 2020). And check map resoruces on London Picture Archive from early 2022.
- The ‘Poverty Maps’ from Booth’s famous London survey (1886-1903) are available from the London Schools of Economics Charles Booth Online Archive.
- maps.thehunthouse.com has various useful London resources, such as lists of street name changes. Also see rayment.info lists. (Both links from WDYTYA magazine letter, March 2015.)
- Historical Maps of Norfolk from the county council: tithe maps, enclosure maps and more via the Map Explorer.
- Manchester Historical Maps – overlay various old maps onto current.
- University of Manchester Online Map Collection, Manchester and environs from the late 18th century, including ship canal.
- Online versions of Old Maps of Lancashire produced by the county council’s Archaeology Service.
- Historic Liverpool.
- What Was Here project from East Riding (of Yorkshire) Archives.
- Tithe maps: West Yorks tithe maps; Berkshire enclosure maps; Cheshire alongside OS 1870s; Worcestershire Tithe and Inclosure Map Project; Welsh Tithe Maps.
- Know Your Place West of England has expanded from its original coverage – Bristol – but also has old maps for Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Devon. Select old map layers and accompanying data markers, with public contributions on the community layer. Worcester City added 2021.
- Somerset Historic Environment Record has a map section – includes tithe map layer.
- History Maps: Bath.
- Devon tithe maps on council website.
- Dorset Explorer Another place where you can select old map layers – tweak visibility sliders to see current/other map layer.
- North East Wales Archives website has a map section.
Open Domesday – the first free online copy of Domesday Book – is worth a mention here. No old maps, but info about places from the 11th century.
Cutlock and Co articles:
- Gravestone Photographic Resource, British War Graves, War Graves Photographic Project.
- Britain From Above Historic aerial images of places, 1919-1953.
- Cambridge University’s Digital Library Landscape Histories from the Air from the University’s Collection of Aerial Photography.
- Railway Archive – 2500 images connected with the Great Central Railway.
- Churches of Britain and Ireland aims “to have at least one photo of every existing church in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, and where possible, photos or artwork of churches no longer in existence”. County index.
- Historypin – where people come together to share their historical pictures and stories.
- Memory Lane (new 2020) – news photographs from the likes of the Daily Mirror, from 1878 onwards. You can also add your own and get black and white photos colourised – note you will be giving permission to Memory Lane to re-use them too.
- Francis Frith postcards.
- Wellcome Trust Images – historical as well as contemporary, includes maps, engravings of buildings etc.
- Historic England Archive – photographs, plans, reports etc. Many images available via its Aerial Photo Explorer are quite modern but there are some older ones too.
- Cheshire Image Bank.
- Cumbria Images Collection from the county archives.
- Hartlepool History Then and Now has over 11,000 images at Dec. 2019.
- Herefordshire History has “Photographs, prints and postcards on a variety of subjects across the county”. Some WW1 local newspaper archvies too.
- Red Rose Collections images of Lancashire people, places and events from council heritage collections.
- Leodis photographic archive of Leeds.
- Image Leicestershire.
- Liverpool Picturebook.
- London Picture Archive.
- Borough Photos – from across 12 of London’s Borough Archives.
- Manchester Local Image Collection – over 80,000 images of the city and suburbs (a city council website). Also check TimePix, orginally set up to share historic photos from Manchester.
- Picture Norfolk.
- Nottinghamshire’s Inspire Picture Archive.
- Picture Oxon – historic images of Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley from the 1850s on, from the county council.
- Picture Sheffield – old images and maps held by the city council.
- Staffordshire Past Track has old images, maps and more.
- West Sussex Past official picture collection.
- People’s Collection Wales.
- Rhondda Cynon Taf Libraries Digital Archive has over 20,000 digital images taken from (south Wales valleys) local history collections.
- Canmore – national record of the historic environment of Scotland. Images and info on places.
- Ayrshire Working Lives.
- Mitchell Library photos of “Glasgow’s buildings and streets as well as people going about their daily lives”.
- Shetland Museum Photo Library.
- British Film Institute has plenty of material in its archives which is free to view online. Also try its Britain on Film project.
- East Anglian Film Archive.
- London’s Screen Archives.
- Living Memories – Archive Film Programmes, Clips and Newsreels showing life in the 20th Century.
- National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive.
- Scotland on Film, material originally compiled for BBC series.
When was that photo taken?
- See FindMyPast blog for ’30 tips for using family photos in genealogy’ by ‘photo detective’ Jayne Shrimpton. At May 2020, also see ‘30 pro tips for making the most of old family photos‘ from the same author.
- Some useful tips and links on determining age of photos from Roger Vaughan Picture Library.
- Suggestions from WDYTYA mag Feb. 2017: Daguerreobase – a database of daguerreotype photos (very early). FashionEra selection of wedding photos from various times – American and British mainly? – for comparisons.
- Tracing studios:
- Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland has a dating section, with info on different types of photos and a ‘dating wizard’ (for a small fee).
- Early Photographers (UK).