Using archives for research

4. Local history

The information set out below provides an introduction to some of the principal sources for local history held here.  Please check the catalogues for complete references, our staff will be pleased to help.

Printed and reference sources

There are a number of local history books on Buckinghamshire as a whole and on towns, villages and parishes more specifically.  For topographical and historical information on all towns and parishes in the county, see:

  • Victoria County History (1903-27) 4 volumes. and index
  • G. Lipscomb, History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham (1847) 4 volumes
  • J.J. Sheahan, History and Topography of Buckinghamshire (1862).

Additional resources

Trade Directories for the county (1792-1939)

These provide giving descriptions of towns and parishes in Buckinghamshire and details of local institutions, gentry and trades people.  There are also some street directories of larger towns, 1945-1974.

Publications of the Buckinghamshire Record Society

These include:

  • Vol. 8:  Lay Subsidy Roll, 1524
  • Vol. 17: Certificate of Musters, 1522
  • Vol. 21: Contributions for Ireland, 1642
  • Vol. 22: Posse Comitatus, 1798
  • Vol. 27: Census of Religious Worship, 1851
  • Vol. 28: Dissent and Parish Life, 1669-1712.


These include:

  • Fire Insurance Records
  • National Probate Index, 1858-1943 (available in Local Studies only.)
  • Alumni of Oxford (1751-1886) and Cambridge (earliest times to 1900)

Other sources

  • Records of Buckinghamshire - the journal of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society
  • Dept. of the Environment: Buildings of Special Architectural & Historic Interest, c.1973-1985. Schedules of Listed Buildings, with descriptions, arranged by District
  • N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (1994)
  • Reports of the Charity Commissioners, 1815-1835
  • Bucks Sessions Records, 1678-1730 (indexed).  The volumes include abstracts of Quarter Sessions Order Books, the names of those people who swore oaths of allegiance, and those of papists
  • Archives Index for pamphlets and books available in the search room, on local history and administration, as well as some parish histories.  

Indexes and annual reports

We have several different indexes to our collections, including by place and by personal name.  These are available to search in our Archives search-room.  In addition, we regularly publish lists of new accessions through our newsletter and annual report. 

Print entire guide

Last updated: 12 March 2019

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