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Biographical, historical and family history

A wealth of information whether you want to explore the great events of the past, are tracing your own family history or just want to find out about a well-known person.


The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

The ultimate reference work on family names of the UK covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish and immigrant surnames.

• The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names available in the library and at home 

Ancestry Library Edition

Masses of information for family history researchers, including census records, births marriages and deaths and much more.

Find my past

UK family history records, news and tutorials.

Find my past available in the library only

The British Newspaper Archive

Millions of digitised British newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection.

Your Family Tree

Free access to monthly magazine, current and back issues plus special subject guides.

IWM Lives of the First World War

Creating and sharing the life stories of more than 8 million men and women.

British Library 19th century Newspapers

Selected content from national and local newspapers.

Times Digital Archive

Full contents of The Times from 1785 to 2013.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Biographies of over 60,000 people who have shaped the history and culture of the British Isles, from Romans times to the 21st century.

Who's Who and Who was Who

From 1849 right up to this year - the noteworthy and influential in all walks of life.

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