Archives and family history

Dating from the 13th century, our collections give you the opportunity to discover the rich and fascinating history of Liverpool.  Experienced staff will help you explore original documents, photographs, maps and newspapers which record the lives of Liverpudlians across the centuries.

To consult original archives, rare books and other material you must make an appointment to use the search room (closed Sunday).  

You do not need an appointment to use Microfilm machines. Computers on the archive floor can only be used for family and local history research.

Our Family History Helpdesk drop in is open every Tuesday 1.30pm-4pm.

Our research service can also carry out information searches for a fee.

Please note we are closed on bank holidays.

Where to find us

3rd Floor Central Library
William Brown Street
L3 8EW

Contact us or follow us on Twitter @Liverpoollib

To ensure our archive material is conserved and secure, we have policies in place that meet national and European standards. Contact us if you require a copy.

Opening hours

Monday 09:00 17:00
Tuesday 12:00 20:00
Wednesday 09:00 17:00
Thursday 12:00 20:00
Friday 09:00 17:00
Saturday 09:00 17:00


  • Archive search room

    The search room

    The search room is available by appointment only to view original archives, rare books, maps, photographs and more.

    More about the search room

  • Church Street

    Our collections

    We preserve and provide access to a large and diverse collection of records that evidence life in Liverpool, both past and present.

    More about our collections

  • Researcher in archive repository

    Research service

    If you can't get to us in person, our dedicated research officer can carry out short or in-depth information searches. There is a charge for this service.

    More about research service

  • Black and white family photograph, parents and six children

    Family history

    Where to start if you're thinking of tracing your family history, and how we can help.

    More about family history

  • Dock work

    Local studies

    Our local studies collection includes microfilmed newspapers and church records, reference books and more.

    More about local studies

  • Red magistrates books in archive catalogue

    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