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Libraries update:

Like many other council services, Essex County Council has begun a phased approach to re-open libraries in line with government guidelines. Initially, sixteen sites are open from Monday 6 July 2020.

Find out more in our news story. Frequently asked questions.

Biographical, historical and family history

Coronavirus update:

Ancestry and Find My Past have temporarily made their sites available to library members from home. Please login to your library account for full details.

Joining the library online now provides you access to the Times Digital Archive and British Library 19th century Newspapers so you no longer have to collect a card from the library to use them

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.

Ancestry Library Edition

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

Login to your library account for details of how to access the site.

British Library 19th century Newspapers

Selected content from national and local newspapers.

The British Newspaper Archive

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

Find my past

UK family history records, news and tutorials.

Login to your library account for details of how to access the site.

IWM Lives of the First World War

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

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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

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.

Times Digital Archive

Full contents of The Times from 1785 to 2014.

Who's Who and Who was Who

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

Your Family Tree

Free access to special subject guides.

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