Archives & family history

Find out about your family history and discover the history of your house, street or district.

The 'Archive' area of Central Library offers reference materials to help you in your local or family history search. 

For specialist help you can book an appointment in The Search Room.

Our collections of unique and rare archives from the 13th century to the present day tell Liverpool’s story. Experienced staff will help you explore photographs, maps, newspapers and directories that also record the lives of Liverpudlians across the centuries.

The archive is ever expanding and the Conservation Studio helps us to preserve these collections in a highly secure and controlled environment.


  • Old street

    Our local studies collection

    If you are interested in local history or want to research your family history, you can use the archive and reference resources hosted in Central Library, or use our reference websites. 

    More on local study resources

  • Books on shelf

    Liverpool Archive Catalogue

    Interested in the history of Liverpool or want to research your family history? Our archive catalogue lists all the reference material you need to help with your search.  

    View the catalogue

  • Tablets and smart phones

    Read Liverpool's resources

    Free reference sites for all library card holders. Access newspaper archives, dictionaries and encyclopaedias or online music 24 hours a day - at home, on the move or in the library.

    Read Liverpool's resources

  • Liverpool Libraries Together

    As a Liverpool Library card holder, you can access reference and archive collections at a number of university and college libraries in Liverpool.

    Liverpool Libraries Together

  • Merseyside at War

    John Moores University is looking to gather together memories and memorabilia of people from Merseyside who lived, worked or fought during the World War I period.

    Add your memories