31st January 2018


Swindon Library Local Studies

Swindon library local studies

Hello dear listeners. I hope you’re well.

It’s struck me that, aside from a post the other day about volunteers for the Citizen’s advice centre, I’ve been a bit lax about posting on here this month. What can I say? I’m busy! Busy with AA Editorial Services, busy with Swindon Civic Voice, busy with Swindon Hour (Twitter) and busy with a personal project of mine. And that brings me to the purpose of this post. Which is simply to give a shout-out to the lovely people running the Swindon Library Local studies section – up in the gods of the central library. And gods they are!

I’ve always known that the local studies service is a terrific one. That’s no a surprise. But I’m in there a lot at the moment for help with a book I’m writing about Swindon (due out in the summer if it all comes off) so I now have cause  to experience their service myself. And it’s great!

Many moons ago, before the current library came to pass, I’m told that the stuff they have in the local collection was packed away in boxes, on high shelves that you probably needed an appt 6 months in advance to access. So how – how lucky is Swindon to have this reams and reams of stuff all about Swindon so easily to hand? And even better with friendly staff that are sooooooo knowledgable. Though they will go to lunch just as I’m rocking up. The audacity – it’s outrageous! 😉   But seriously – from this Born again Swindonian – a big thank you for all the help so far. I’ll be back though. As Arnie says. #obvs

Key Resources

The full list of resources that local studies can provide is here: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20026/libraries/302/local_studies_local_history_and_genealogy

Here’s a few to whet your appetite:

  • A comprehensive collection of printed historical material for the Borough of Swindon and the surrounding area.
  • Books, reports, pamphlets, scrapbooks, DVDs, VHS, ephemera – covering all topics.
  • We offer extensive genealogical resources, such as the GRO index of all births, marriages & deaths in England & Wales (1837-1999), the GRO Overseas Index, the International Genealogical Index (LDS) and local census records with surname & street indexes where available.
  • All local parish registers and Bishops Transcripts (from 1538).
  • Free access to premium websites like Ancestry and the British Newspaper Archive.
  • Extensive collection of local periodicals like parish magazines, and journals.
  • This includes staff newsletters for local firms like Austin Rover, British Rail, Garrard, Great Western Railway, Pressed Steel, Will’s Tobacco, and Vickers.

Sadly their opening hours have been reduced. Cut backs don’t ya know?! So this is when you’ll find them:

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 10.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday 10.00am – 1.30pm

Unless they’re at lunch!

The other totally fantastic thing they do is this:

Local Studies photograph collection

‘Our online photographic gallery can be found at www.flickr.com/swindonlocal

  • Includes over 5,500 fascinating images and still growing.
  • Most are selected from the Local Studies collection but thousands were kindly shared with us by current and former local residents and local history enthusiasts.
  • Free to view and fully searchable by name, date, place, street or other keyword.

These images are only a small fraction of the main collection which can be viewed in Local Studies.’

It’s incredible!

In the ether:

E-mail: localstudies@swindon.gov.uk
Telephone: (01793) 463238

Please follow us on Twitter (@SwindonLocal) and like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LocalStudiesSwindon