North Lincolnshire local studies library

Find out what local studies and family research materials are available online and in our Local Studies Library at Scunthorpe Central. You might also be interested in our family history research page.

Local studies resources at Scunthorpe Central

Scunthorpe Central holds census returns for the towns and villages in North Lincolnshire for the following years:

  • 1841 (microfilm)
  • 1851 (microfilm)
  • 1861 (microfilm)
  • 1871 (microfilm)
  • 1881 (microfilm)
  • 1891 (microfilm)
  • 1901 (microfilm)
  • 1911 (via Find My Past)

We also have returns for other places in Lincolnshire, but only for particular years. To check if we have the records for the area you are interested in please check our full census return list [PDF, 647Kb]

We have microfilm machines that you can view census returns on and print copies as required. There is a charge for printing. Please see our Library fees and charges page for more details.

Our microfilm readers are well used, so contact us to book a machine before your visit.

We can do limited searches on your behalf. You must provide specific dates, names and surnames for us to search.

We can carry out more in-depth research, but a charge is made for this service. You can find out more on our Research enquiries page.

The Image Archive is a service for anyone interested in historic photographs of North Lincolnshire.

Between them, the council’s museums service and the library service have over 25,000 photographs. Of these, more than 9,000 have already been entered into the computerised image archive, with new photographs being added continually.

Material ranges from views of the largest towns to the smallest villages, as well as covering a variety of themes such as agriculture, industry, leisure, religion and sport.

The archive provides a comprehensive visual record of the history of North Lincolnshire from the middle of the nineteenth century right up to the present day, and everyone is welcome to use it.

Paper maps

In the local studies section of Scunthorpe Central we have some local Ordinance Survey maps. These maps cover the whole of North Lincolnshire, as well as large parts of the surrounding area.

  • 1890 6 inches to a mile edition
  • 1907 (circa) 25 inches to a mile edition
  • 1908 6 inches to a mile edition
  • 1948 prov. 6 inches to a mile edition
  • 1956 prov. 6 inches to a mile edition
  • 1965 1:2,500 edition
  • 1965 6 inches to a mile edition
  • 1975 1:10,000 edition
  • 1975 1:2,500 edition.

Maps on computer

We also have a historic maps computer programme covering the whole of North Lincolnshire from the late 19th century up to the early 20th century. These can be viewed on a dedicated computer in Scunthorpe Central.

  • Lincolnshire – 1886-88, 1906-8, 1921, 1932-40
  • Yorkshire – 1890-91, 1903-7, 1931
  • Nottinghamshire – 1886, 1899

Please note that these maps can only be viewed by one person at a time, so please contact us in advance if you plan to make a special journey to look at them.

You cannot make copies of the maps held on computer. You may be able to make photocopies of paper maps (subject to copyright law). Please check with the library staff for further details.

1910 valuation maps and field books

We also hold some valuation maps on computer for parts of the local area. These were originally generated from the valuation of all land and property in the England, Wales and Scotland over one acre as of 30th April 1909. The valuation was carried out under the Finance Act (1909-1910), under the authority of the Valuation Office of the Board of Inland Revenue. Freehold owners were recorded but also some leaseholders. The records might include common and waste land. Accompanying field books on microform list the name and address of property/land owner and tenants.

Please note that the valuation maps and field books can be time-consuming and complicated to use, so if you wish to view these or to check which areas are covered, please contact us in advance and allow plenty of time for your visit.

The library holds back files of several newspapers. These cover the local and regional area. There are bound copies of some of the newspapers, but the majority are on microfilm. This makes them easier to access. It also ensures that the more fragile bound copies are preserved.

For full details of all the local papers we hold, please see our local newspaper list [PDF, 26Kb]

Microfilm machines are available to view the newspapers, and you can also print as required. There is a charge for printing. Please see our Library fees and charges page for more details.

Our microfilm readers are well used, so please contact us before your visit.

We have a surname index for the Star series of newspapers. The index is available on request. It covers the circulation period 1890 to 1950. We also have subject indexes for the Scunthorpe Telegraph and Epworth Bells. These start from 1996.

The Local Studies section at Scunthorpe Central holds a number of periodicals. The length of back files for these titles varies considerably with several of them going back many years. Please note that not all of these titles are current.

  • Co-operative News
  • Humber Outlook
  • Humbrella
  • Journal of Lincs Methodist History
  • Journal of Regional & Local Studies
  • Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire Transport Review
  • Lincolnshire Family History Society Magazine
  • Lincolnshire History & Archaeology
  • Lincolnshire Life
  • Lincolnshire Naturalist Union
  • Lincolnshire Past and Present
  • Local Historian
  • Local History News
  • Naturally Speaking
  • Parish Life (Frodingham Church)
  • Parish News (Burton on Stather)
  • Proceedings of the Wesley Hist. Soc
  • Regional Review
  • Society of Lincs. Historical Archaeology
  • St Hugh’s Church, Old Brumby
  • Transactions of Lincs. Naturalist Soc
  • Transactions of Yorks. Dialect Society
  • Trent Geographer
  • What’s On
  • Wrawby Church & Community News
  • Yorks Dialect Soc. Summer Bulletin

The Star series of newspapers started on 26 October 1889 as the North Lindsey Star. It underwent a series of name changes:

  • North Lindsey Star (NLS)
  • Lindsey Star (LS)
  • Lindsey and Lincolnshire Star (LLS)
  • Lincolnshire Star (LS)
  • Scunthorpe & Frodingham Star (SFS)
  • Scunthorpe Star (SS)
  • Scunthorpe & Glanford Star

We have a partial Star surname index [PDF, 10Mb] for names appearing in the paper between the period 1891 to 1964. These include births, marriages and deaths. It also includes a few entries from the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph (SET).

Once you have found the entry that you are looking for in the index you can come and look at the newspaper for yourself. See our local news pages for more details. If you can’t get to Scunthorpe Central , and would like us to send you a copy of the entry from the newspaper, please fill in our research form.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and so you may still need to look at the newspaper itself.

We have a collection of 19th and early 20th century trade directories in the Local Studies section of the Reference Library.

These directories include towns and villages from the whole of Lincolnshire. They give information about the location, history, buildings and population of each town or village. They also include lists of private and commercial residents, so they are a very useful source for family historians. They can also help local historians to build up a picture of how areas have changed over a period of time.

The collection includes the following Lincolnshire directories:

Morris’ Directory: 1863.

Kelly’s Directory: 1849, 1855, 1868, 1876, 1885, 1889, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1905, 1909, 1913, 1919, 1922, 1926, 1930, 1933, 1937.

White’s Directory: 1826, 1842, 1856, 1872, 1882, and 1892.

We have a specialist collection of items about John Wesley and Methodism. This includes items written both by and about John Wesley. We also have pieces about Charles Wesley and other family members. It includes the accounts of the Methodist Church. It also contains biographies of main figures in the church.

We have volumes of Wesley’s works and published copies of his letters, sermons, journals and diaries. The collection is held in the Local Studies Library at Scunthorpe Central.

To find out if we have the item you are looking for you can download a copy of the Wesley catalogue [PDF, 66Kb]. This shows the author, title and publication date for all items in the collection.

If you have an enquiry about any of the material in the Reference or Local Studies libraries, please contact us using our ‘Make a research enquiry’ form.

We can also help with homework questions or even that elusive crossword answer.

Please note that enquiries taking longer than 30 minutes to complete will be classed as a research enquiry (see below).

Research enquiries

If you are unable to visit the library yourself, we can make a limited search of resources on your behalf. If your enquiry takes longer than 30 minutes to research a charge will apply.

This charge is for staff time spent on research and we cannot guarantee that we will find relevant information. In these cases we will send you details of the sources checked so that you can exclude them from further investigation. We will also, where possible, suggest other lines of enquiry.

We will spend the first half hour on an enquiry free of charge but any further research after this time will be charged at a rate of £14.10 per hour for North Lincolnshire residents or £25.75 per hour for non-residents (minimum charge of £7.05 or £12.86, respectively). We also charge for postage (at cost).

Any print outs request will be charged for at the following rates per A4 sheet:

  • Copies from online resources: 95p
  • Scan to email: £1
  • Photocopies of microform copies: £1.25

We will advise you of any estimated charges before we start your research.

In some cases there may be copyright restrictions on the information you request. If we do need you to sign a copyright declaration we will send you a form to complete.


01724 860161

Local Studies Library
Scunthorpe Central
Carlton Street
North Lincolnshire
DN15 6TX