Local Studies & Libraries

Do you want to find out about your own family’s history, or investigate past times in the place where you live? 

Inspire libraries love to help you discover and celebrate local stories.

We think of our Local Studies Collections as community memory banks and actively develop them to reflect local lives. Everyone is welcome to explore the wide variety of books, maps, photographs and more, collected over many years to enjoy now and preserve for future generations.

We Offer

  • advice and help with family and local history research – with the bonus of FREE access to Ancestry.com in libraries and Nottinghamshire Archives
  • collections of rare and hard to find books on Nottinghamshire themes
  • heritage themed events and activities for all ages
  • displays and exhibitions to showcase local stories 
  • extensive coverage of local newspapers – some dating back to the 1850s
  • historical county maps
  • extensive collections of photographs to pore over
  • access to digital copies of photographs via the Inspire Picture Archive 
  • a link to the community website “Our Nottinghamshire” for you to share your own stories and research 
  • information about availability of items for loan or reference via the library catalogue, although we do have some “hidden treasures” still to add.
  • enjoyable volunteering opportunities
  • We are also very happy to talk to you about receiving any donations to add to the collections, or items that you would be happy for us to copy and return.

Where to Find Us

All Inspire libraries have some material relating to their own communities, but the larger ones have much more extensive collections. Generally, these contain some core material of countywide interest with the main focus being on the immediate local area. A number of them feature specialised collections relating to themes of wider interest e.g. D.H. Lawrence, Lord Byron and the Pilgrim Fathers.

Help is available from staff, supported by a heritage team, to explore the information and resources we hold. Please contact us via your local Inspire Library or the Ask Libraries service. 

Kirkby in Ashfield
Sutton in Ashfield
West Bridgford