Local Heritage at Arnold Library


The Local Heritage section at Arnold Library is on the first floor of the building with access by lift or stairs

Historic image of former library

The collection

The collection contains a range of material relating to Arnold and the surrounding area, with background material on Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands.

There are resources to help you trace:

  •          History of local places
  •          Recent local developments
  •          Transport
  •          Local industries/businesses
  •          Social history
  •          Local politics
  •          Family history
  •          History of individual buildings

The book collection has over 1000 volumes, including the 1913 publication “A history of Arnold, Nottinghamshire” by Rupert William King, plus more modern illustrated titles by Kenneth M. Negus, M.W. Spick and Bob Massey.

Features of the collection include information about local people such as Richard Bonington, artist and Thomas Hawksley, water engineer. The photograph collection owes much to work of former Librarian Kenneth M. Negus.

Some items are only available to be consulted in the library, but wherever possible we offer a loan copy of the title as well. The majority can be searched for on the library catalogue but some are not yet included. 

The Local Studies classification numbers can be used to find books on specific themes e.g. L90.2 Arnold is the reference for titles concerned with the history of the town in general, but topics such as Framework Knitting, or Home Brewery have specific numbers – indexes are available, and staff will be able to help.


Titles in the collection include:

  • The Nottinghamshire Historian
  • Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire (history and archaeology)
  • Parish magazines including St Mary’s Church  
  • East Midlands History and Heritage

Newspapers and Directories

The library has files, on microfilm, of local newspapers

Nottingham Advertiser        1930 - April 1980

South Notts Echo                 1911 - April 1980

N.B. These titles are not all currently included in the British Newspaper Archive, although there may be relevant articles in other titles accessible through this FREE subscription subscription available in Inspire Libraries and at Nottinghamshire Archives.
A list of Nottinghamshire titles in digital format on the British Newspaper Archive can be found here.

The trade directories, some county-wide, covering the period from around 1790, give contemporary information about Arnold, including listings of local industries, and prominent people. Some are available in microfiche format.

A non-digital microfilm/microfiche reader and printer facility is provided.


Files have been compiled over many years containing newspaper cuttings, leaflets and uncatalogued information. The collection covers various subjects, including local industries, biographies etc. arranged by theme in filing cabinets. 

The Photograph Collection

The collection includes approximately 1500 mounted images, mainly covering the period from the 1850s to the late 20th century

These are arranged by theme in filing cabinets and an index to the classification scheme is available.

Over 22,000 Nottinghamshire images have been digitised and are available on the Inspire Picture Archive.

Maps and Plans

A map cabinet and set of drawers contain maps and plans covering the period from around 1790 to the early 21st century.
These include Ordnance Survey large scale 6-inch and 25-inch plans (plus metric equivalents) of the area from c.1880, and some copies of earlier maps e.g. Enclosure, 1791 and Tithe, 1842 maps, and Goad plans showing Arnold town centre shops and businesses.
Maps are available to browse. If you have a specific query about mapping please contact us direct via Ask Inspire.


Census Returns for the Arnold its neighbouring parishes, from 1841 to 1901, are available on microfiche, but the free access to Ancestry.co.uk in Inspire libraries and at Nottinghamshire Archives is often a more convenient way of searching for Census information.

Parish Registers

Parish Registers on microfiche cover Arnold (and surrounding parishes) from 1544 into the Twentieth Century (where they survive):

Aspley, Basford, Bestwood Park, Bulwell, Burton Joyce, Calverton, Carlton, Colwick, Daybrook, Epperstone, Gedling, Lambley, Linby, Mapperley, Netherfield, New Basford, Newstead Abbey, Newstead village, North Wilford, Oxton, Papplewick, Wilford and Woodborough.

A separate family history collection of some key titles to help with the process of researching family history is also available

For help with specific enquiries please contact Ask Inspire

Archival Records

Archival records such as wills, diaries, original parish registers (including non-conformist registers), business and personal correspondence etc. are held at Nottinghamshire Archives:

County House
Castle Meadow Road
Email: archives@inspireculture.org.uk
Tel: 0115 9581634