FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Free Books & Maps Sites

A Vision of Britain Through Time < www.visionofbritain.org.uk >
By searching for a place name or post code in the British Isles, you can check its position on a selection of historical maps. Digging down through the "units and statistics" section leads readers to the local population recorded in various census years and even to parish boundary maps. In some cases, there are links to historical writings that describe specific events. An excellent site if you want to understand the context of your family's history and discover more about the locality where your forebears lived. The "Learning Zone" provides e-tutorials on how to make best use of the site.
British Association for Local History <www.balh.org.uk/>
Details of a range of publications and events. "The Local Historian" is published four times a year and contains a variety of articles and features - issues that are more than three years old can be downloaded free of charge.
British Historic Towns Atlas <www.historictownsatlas.org.uk/>
A high quality and easy to navigate gateway to atlases and historical maps that chart the development of historic towns and cities in England, Scotland and Wales. You can view maps that show in great detail a range of cities and towns at a variety of dates. There are opportunities to buy maps in traditional format if they are still in print.
British History Online <www.british-history.ac.uk>
Digital library of primary and secondary sources for the history of the British Isles, including many Victoria County History volumes.
Charles Booth Online Archive <booth.lse.ac.uk/>
Searchable access to maps and notebooks created in Booth's survey of life and labour in London (1886-1903). A rich resource that reveals, street-by-street, the character of London at that time.
Family History Books <books.familysearch.org/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=FHD_PUBLIC>
This collection includes more than 325,000 digitised genealogy and family history publications. It is hosted by FamilySearch but the resources are drawn from a range of different organisations. By using either a simple or an advanced search, you can find scanned images of entire books to read or download. For some items access is restricted to those viewing in particular libraries or family history centres.
Google Books <books.google.com>
You can search for information that appears within books that have been scanned. Sometimes, only a “snippet” appears. In other cases, you can read substantial sections (even of books that are still in copyright) or the whole of a book.
Instructions to Census Enumerators 1841-1901 <freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~framland/census/directions.htm>
The text of the official instructions for each of these seven censuses and of the relevant Act of Parliament.
Internet Archive <archive.org/advancedsearch.php>
An enormous collection of out-of-copyright books that have been scanned and can be viewed or downloaded in a variety of formats.
Local Population Studies Society <www.localpopulationstudies.org.uk/index.htm/>
Devoted to all aspects of historical demography in a local context. Back issues of its journal "Local Population Studies" (1968-2011) are available free of charge on the site, where you can also order paper versions of then and more recent issues.
National Library of Scotland <maps.nls.uk/>
High-resolution images of over 160,000 maps. Scotland is specially well represented, but there are also vast numbers from England, Wales and elsewhere. You can search by place name or by zooming in from an overview map. The scales and dates that are available vary across the country. It is possible to compare a historic map at a high scale side-by-side with a modern map or satellite layers. Viewing the introductory video is a good way to start exploring this collection.

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Page updated by the webmaster on 28 September 2017

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