Old Books

Old books are so vital to research undertaken by many especially the family historian, who strives to piece together information from a previous era, a time which sometimes seems almost like a different world.

The internet has facilitated genealogical research like nothing before it, revealing otherwise unknown or distantly forgotten facts about families and their relationship to one another.

These essential books fall into distinct categories, ranging from parish records in the form of registers of births, marriages and burials, early Bishops’ Transcripts of Marriage Allegations, to the ever popular trade directories and street directories. Whilst trade and street directories were printed in fairly reasonable numbers a surprising few remain today for they were considered out of date the year following publication and often thrown away like an unwanted telephone directory. Today they are only usually found in private libraries, records offices or private collections like our own. Furthermore because of their ubiquitous nature they were often mistreated, even being used as doorstops! This general mistreatment has meant that many are in poor condition.

Of the other books, many were produced in small numbers of between 75 and 150 for subscribers who funded the publication of the tireless transcription work undertaken by enthusiasts over one hundred years ago.

Fortunately modern scanning and post-digitisation enhancement enable these fine books to be made available to all.

We will attempt to publish a list the more prevalent publishers and some details of their works as time permits.