Cambridgeshire County Council's Local Studies is home to major collections of material from across Cambridgeshire, including books, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, printed maps and plans. 

Access to all of the Local Studies collections is free. You do not need a library card or a County Archive Research Network ticket to browse our collections. Some items are available for loan; you will need to be a library member to borrow them.

Browse our three largest collections

 Smaller local collections are also available in ElyMarch and St. Neots libraries.

Family history research

All Cambridgeshire libraries have free access to the British Newspaper Archive, as well as Find My Past and Ancestry for censuses 1841-1911, the 1939 Register, the General Registry Office (GRO) index and much more. Ancestry also now includes electoral registers and poll books for Cambridgeshire.

Our main libraries will also have a selection of the following:

  • Trade directories, newspapers and maps
  • Local family history society publications

You can search for a certificate dated after July 1837 online through CAMDEX, Cambridgeshire County Council's online index of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths in Cambridgeshire. 

House history

You may be able to find an old photo of your house or see who lived there in the past using the census or street directories.

We also have a collection of sales particulars for Cambridge and villages in Cambridgeshire. 

Image of old photograph of house in 1930s
The Old House, Hauxton (circa 1930)

Research service

If you are unable to visit Local Studies to carry out your own research or you just need some extra assistance, our team can help. We can search through any records we hold that are relevant to your research to save you time during your visit. We can also arrange for copies of relevant records to be sent to you by post.

Cost for Local Studies research service
Time Charge
30 minutes Free
1 hour £38
1 hour 30 minutes £56
2 hours £76
Each additional 30 minutes £18

Contact us to enquire abut our research service at 

Adopt a book scheme

Help secure the future of our collection

We have been collecting and preserving material about Cambridgeshire for over 160 years and we want to continue doing so well into the future. Our adopt a book scheme will allow you to make a valuable contribution to supporting the work of the Cambridgeshire Library Service.

Books can be adopted by individuals, on behalf of others as a gift, by companies or societies.  For £25 a year, you will receive a thank you certificate and a behind the scenes guided tour of the archive store. Your chosen item will be identified on the shelves and to other users.

For more information, please see our leaflet below or contact us at

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