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  British Library
  British Newspaper Library
  National Library of Wales

The British Library contains an unrivalled range of collections. Those of key interest to family historians include its extensive collection of Electoral Registers and its collection of Army and Navy Lists. The library is split between three locations. The main centre is at St. Pancras in London. The newspaper collection is held at Colindale in north-west London and there is a reading room at Boston Spa in Yorkshire





The British Library
96 Euston Road
  Telephone (020) 7412 7676
  Fax (020) 7412 7789
  Boston Spa Reading Room The British Library also provides a reading room at their Boston Spa centre. See their website page for address, telephone number and opening hours
  Reading Room Hours


Mon 10:00 - 8:00
  Tue 9:30 - 8:00
  Wed 9:30 - 8:00
  Thu 9:30 - 8:00
  Fri 9:30 - 5:00
  Sat 9:30 - 5:00
  Sun closed
  Main British Library Collections of key interest to family historians include:
  • Complete set of electoral registers from 1947 and over 20,000 of earlier ones
  • British Army and Royal Navy lists from 1642 onwards
  Web Site Home Page
    Sources Held - guides to Electoral Registers and India Office archives
    Reader's Pass - guide to requirements for obtaining a reader's pass allowing access to the reading room
    Research Services - guide to fee based search services provided on electoral registers and India Office baptisms, marriages and burials
    Visiting Guide - comprehensive guide to applying for reader's pass, ordering items in advance, facilties provided and reading rooms rules
    Directions - comprehensive directions with link to street map showing location of the British Library
    Online catalogue to the British Library archives

The British Library's Newspaper Library at Colindale in the north-western outskirts of London is justifiably famous for its very extensive collection of newspapers and magazines. Publishers and distributors in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have a legal obligation to send one copy of each of their publications to the British Library within one month of publication.

Newspapers can be a very useful source of information on ancestors, particularly in respect of "adding flesh to the bones"

  Address British Library Newspapers
Colindale Avenue
  Telephone (020) 7412 7353
  Fax (020) 7412 7379
  Hours Mon 10:00 - 5:00
    Tue 10:00 - 5:00
    Wed 10:00 - 5:00
    Thu 10:00 - 5:00
    Fri 10:00 - 5:00
    Sat 10:00 - 5:00
    Sun Closed
  Main Collections
  • Most extensive worldwide collection of national and local newspapers and magazines for the British Isles
  • Most extensive worldwide collection of Irish newspapers
  • Extensive collection of commonwealth newspapers
  • Early American newspapers
  Web Site Home Page
    Sources Held - guide to collections held
    Visiting Guide - guide to booking, proof of identity requirements and reading room facilities
    Directions - street map showing location of Newspaper Library
    Online Catalogue providing keyword search of the Newspaper Library's holdings

The National Library of Wales is generally acknowledged as the foremost centre for researching Welsh genealogy.

In addition to holding collections of original documents that are of key interest to family historians (pre 1858 Welsh wills, many Welsh parish registers, etc.), it also provides access to microfilm/fiche copies of key genealogical collections held elsewhere (e.g. nonconformist registers, General Register Office master indexes, etc.)

Housed in an attractive complex with excellent facilities, the National Library of Wales goes out of its way to welcome family historians tracing their Welsh ancestors.

  Address National Library of Wales
SY23 3BU
  Telephone (01970) 632800
  Fax (01970) 615709
  Hours Mon 9:30 - 6:00
    Tue 9:30 - 6:00
    Wed 9:30 - 6:00
    Thu 9:30 - 6:00
    Fri 9:30 - 6:00
    Sat 9:30 - 5:00
    Sun Closed
  Main Collections
  • Parish registers for over 500 Anglican Church parishes in Wales (the parish registers for the remaining Welsh parishes are held in their respective County Record Offices)
  • Microfilm copies of the nonconformist registers for Wales that were deposited with the Registrar-General following the Civil Registration Act of 1836
  • Wills proved between 1521-1858 in ecclesiastical courts in Wales - the computerised index to these wills can be searched at the library
  • Microfiche copies of the General Register Office's master indexes of births, marriages, and deaths from 1837 to 1998
  • Microfilm/fiche copies of all 1841 to 1901 censuses for the whole of Wales and some border areas
  • Electoral registers for Wales
  Web Site Home Page
    Sources Held - comprehensive guide to collections of genealogical interest held at the National Library of Wales
    Research Services - no fee based service provided
    Readers' Tickets - guide to proof of identity requirements for the reading room
    Visiting Guide - guide to using the facilities of the reading room
    Directions - comprehensive guide on how to get to the National Library of Wales by public transport and car, together with an excellent three dimensional street map
This page last updated: 7 October 2006