Local Heritage at Beeston Library


The Local Heritage section at Beeston Library is located at the rear of the ground floor of the building, with level access throughout.

General view of the Local Heritage area at Beeston Library.

The collection

Beeston Library holds a range of material relating to Beeston 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 2500 volumes, including “Gleanings, something about Beeston in the olden times” by T.J. Oldrini, 1873.

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 Beeston is the reference for titles concerned with the history of the town in general, but topics such as lace making in Beeston, Boots or the Humber factory have specific numbers – indexes are available, and staff will be able to help.

Features of the collection include information about the Boots Company including some early 20th century in-house magazines, material relating to the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, including the explosion in July 1918, the details of other local industries, fiction by local authors and 21 bound volumes of newspaper cuttings on local topics, e.g. Biography, Military History, Retailing, Transport, etc.


Titles in the collection include:

  • Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire (history and archaeology)
  • Notts Family History Society 
  • Beeston & District Civic Society Newsletter
  • East Midlands History and Heritage

Newspapers and Directories

The library has files, on microfilm, of local newspapers

Beeston and West Notts. Echo            23 May 1910 - 14 Dec 1912

Beeston Gazette and Echo                    Jan 1913 - 1938, 3 Feb 1939 -Jun 1980,
                                                                  Jan 1981 - 15 Oct 1981 including Card index

Beeston Weekly Post                               2 May 1908 - 1 May 1909

West Notts & Derbyshire Recorder      22 Oct 1981 - 29 Aug 1991

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

Microfilm/microfiche reader and printer facilities are provided using a digital scanner.


Files have been compiled over many years containing news cuttings, leaflets and uncatalogued information on various subjetcs, including local industries, cultural activities 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 1980s.
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

2 map cabinets plus 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.an 1809 Enclosure map.

Maps are available to browse. If you have a specific query about mapping please contact us direct via Ask Inspire.


Census Returns for the Beeston and its neighbouring parishes, from 1841 to 1901 (except 1861), 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 Beeston, and surrounding parishes, from 1558 into the Twentieth Century (where they survive):

Attenborough, Awsworth, Beeston, Bilborough, Bramcote, Brinsley, Chilwell, Cinderhill, Cossall, Eastwood, Kimberley, Lenton Priory, Stapleford, Strelley, Trowell and Wollaton.

A separate family history collection of some key titles to help with the process of researching family history is also available in general library stock.

For help with specific enquiries please contact Ask Inspire.

Archival Records

Archival records such as wills, diaries, original parish registers, business and personal correspondence etc. are held at NottinghamshireArchives:

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