DERBYSHIRE - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
This web page contains information about the location and use of Archives
for Derbyshire-related family history research.
Generally speaking, Archives
(more commonly known as
) are repositories for original source material,
such as Wills or Parish Registers, whereas the Local Studies Sections of
are where you'd expect to find the Census, and printed
local source material, such as Trade Directories.
If you're looking for assistance by post or email in Derbyshire, the Local Studies Library's
and Derbyshire Record Office's
Family History Search Service
, are provided as part of
Derbyshire County Council
website Leisure & Culture
If nothing less than a personal visit will suffice, more detailed information, and
some useful comments based on our own experiences, are offered below.
Established in 1962, Derbyshire Record Office holds the archives for the County
of Derbyshire, City and Diocese of Derby. Generally speaking they house the
original records - parish records, maps, &c. - whereas the Local Studies
Libraries, in Matlock and elsewhere in the county hold a variety of useful
secondary sources including all census returns, newspapers and the GRO
indexes. The Record Office is situated in New Street, Matlock, but
the address above should be used for postal enquiries.
New in 2005:
"The Record Office have recently published their summary list of new archives
added to their collections in 2004. Entitled 'Archives 2004' it provides an overview
of a wide range of material, including Anglican and nonconformist church records.
You can refer to a copy in the Search Room, consult it on-line on their web pages
http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/record_office/) or buy a hard copy.
In addition, many CD-Roms of parish register transcripts have been added to
Search Room resources. Derbyshire Record Office has (currently) 4 public
access PCs with Internet access in the Search Room. On these you can
see the 1881 and 1901 census returns on-line and the Derbyshire census
returns for 1861,1871 and 1891 on CD-Rom. The Search Room PCs can
of course also be used for browsing other genealogical websites such as
The Search Room is located a short
distance from County Hall, in New Street, in what used to be the Ernest
Bailey Grammar School Building.
In common with most Record Offices these days, all
bags (including handbags) need to be left in lockers outside the
Information about some of the Derbyshire Record Office's holdings is available via the
ARCHON (Archives On-Line) Information service. Select "Repository Search",
and enter "Derbyshire Record Office" as Repository Name on the form
The Lichfield Joint Record Office (LJRO) hold original copies
of Bishops' Transcripts, Marriage Licences and Wills for
Derbyshire because it belonged to Lichfield Diocese. The latter in
its hey-day must have been quite huge, covering Staffordshire,
Derbyshire, part of Cheshire, Warwickshire and Shropshire. In 1884
however Derbyshire was transferred to the Diocese of Southwell (Notts),
with Derby becoming a separate Diocese in, or about 1927. Additional
details of the split with Lichfield are available on the
Record Office's web pages, and I am indebted to David Marshall also for the
update on the Diocese of Derby.
Photocopies of original documents are available by post.
Holds original parochial records for parishes in Derbyshire prior to 1933, but now part of Greater
Sheffield, for example Norton and Beighton. Note however that Diocesan records (such as the
Bishops Transcripts) for these parishes are still at Lichfield Joint Record Office.
It also provides access to the excellent Bagshawe Collection (the records of the
antiquarians Benjamin Bagshawe (d.1907) and Edward G. Bagshawe (d.1956)), and
the Jackson Collection (records of the Jackson family of Sheffield), both of which
contain copious references to Derbyshire folk.
Manchester Local Studies Library holds various records relating to Derbyshire Business
and Commerce - for example the records of W.G. and J.Strutt Ltd., of Belper. For details
of their holdings see the Access to
Here you may find records relating to property owned by the Dukes
of Devonshire in which your ancestors were tenants, or of their
employment, if they worked on the Estate, or elsewhere on land
belonging to the Duke.
I am indebted to Jennifer Blunt for providing the following statement
from the archives as to access:-
- The Devonshire Collection
Derbyshire DE4 1PP
Reading Fees, 2004
Accredited postgraduate students, scholars and bona fide research
workers may be granted access to the collections of art and
archives, following the receipt of an application in writing to the
Keeper of the Devonshire Collection.
A Reading Fee of £14.00 (+ VAT) per day or part of day is
charged, but the department reserves the right to make a higher
charge on the day.
Appointments are made between 22nd March and 31st
October, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
If an appointment is made you should report to the Porters Lodge
on arrival, where you will be issued with a visitor's badge. You
will then be met by a member of the Collection Department and
shown to the Study Room.
There is now a Chatsworth House
web site. Although I was unable to find a reference to their
archives, it does make interesting reading, nevertheless.
See also the
ARCHON (Archives On-Line) Information service for locations of
other Record Offices throughout the country.
Specific contents of both Derbyshire Record Office and
Lichfield Joint Record Office Catalogues are
searchable independently using the
Access to Archives Database. This is a valuable resource - whilst
the original records are not available online, some of the catalogue entries
may be a revelation in their own right - for example:
- Belvoir Castle
The archives at Belvoir Castle are the repository for an equivalent
Collection for the Dukes of Rutland, also big landowners in North
Derbyshire. Unfortunately however the Estate Offices have neither
the staff nor the resources to make them available for research.
"Information of William Percivall of Haywood, Bakewell parish,
blacksmith and servant of William Glossop of Haywood, against Henry
Brushfield of Nether Padley for theft of a turkey cock and examination of
Henry Brushfield. - ref. Q/SB/2/1243/1244 - date: 15 Oct 1660".
NB: Lichfield Joint Record Office is listed with Staffordshire.
Needs no introduction for those of you familiar with Matlock Bath!
County Hall Local Studies Library in Matlock holds the complete Derbyshire Census
returns on microfilm, the IGI, and a wealth of Derbyshire research material
available on open shelves. A great place for research; it is advisable
to book a microfilm reader in advance, especially if you want photocopies.
- Belper Library Local Studies Collection
Belper DE56 1BA
Buxton Library have copies of the High Peak area Census on microfilm - please phone to check
availability of other Census. They also have local newspapers dating back to the mid 1800s.
Nineteenth century Buxton was a Spa Town for "taking the waters" and the Buxton
paper lists weekend guests at the hotels, so if they were wealthy enough, you can even follow
your ancestors' social life! [Information kindly supplied by Liz Sparkes]
- Buxton Library
Kents Bank School, Kents Bank Road
BUXTON SK17 9HJ
Chesterfield Library holds the Derbyshire Census returns on microfilm, the IGI,
and much more besides.
Derby Local Studies Library holds copies of some Derbyshire Pedigrees on microfilm.
- Chesterfield Library
New Beetwell Street
CHESTERFIELD S40 1QN
Information on Derby Local Studies Library's
Devonshire Collection (deposited with the Library by the 7th Duke in 1878) may be
found as part of a
Libraries & Culture,
There's a Multi-storey carpark within walking distance of the Library -
I found it by following signs for Parking from the Ring Road.
Sheffield Local Studies Library has a large collection of local history books,
printed parish register transcriptions and directories relating to Derbyshire,
and may be a more convenient venue for some researchers than a
Library in Derbyshire.
For more comprehensive information on the Derbyshire Library Service
Find Your Derbyshire Library, on the Derbyshire County Council
site, listing all libraries in the Amber Valley, Bolsover, Chesterfield,
Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, High Peak, North East Derbyshire and
South Derbyshire areas.
[The above information was transferred from the main GENUKI/Derbyshire index page on 27 Aug 2003]
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Local history archive situated in Swadlincote - holds newspapers,
old maps, photographs, BMD, Census returns and other memorabilia.
The emphasis is on South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire,
but archive material also covers East Staffordshire and other parts
of Derbyshire. For more information see their website.
Added 5 Apr 2007.
Holds a large collection of transcriptions of Parish Registers, Memorial Inscriptions,
local history books, &c. Searches are free, but donations are welcome.
Added 5 Apr 2007.
- Derbyshire Ancestral Research Group
Birchwood Methodist Chapel,