Local Heritage at Mansfield Central Library


The Local Heritage section at Mansfield Central Library is at the centre of the first floor of the building with access by lift or stairs.

A view of the Local Heritage area at Mansfieold Central Library taken with a fisheye lens.

The Collection

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

You will find 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 approximately 7000 volumes, including works by local authors, and also highlights the work of the 18th Century publisher and author Robert Dodsley, born near Mansfield. He worked as a stocking weaver and footman but later came to publish works by Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson and have his portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The collection includes histories of the town by William Horner Groves (1894) and A.S. Buxton, as well as standard county histories by Robert Thoroton (1790) , Thomas Bailey (1853), and  Cornelius Brown (1891) etc.

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 Mansfield is the reference for titles concerned with the history of the town in general, but topics such as Industry in Mansfield have a specific number – indexes are available, and staff will be able to help.

Mansfield Library is also home to the County Local Studies Reserve Collection where we store additional copies of rare items to ensure that we can maintain our wide range of local titles well into the future.


Periodicals in the collection include:

  • The Nottinghamshire Historian
  • Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire (history and archaeology)
  • Parish magazines for the town
  • East Midlands History and Heritage


The library has files, on microfilm, of local newspapers

CHAD Weekender                       Sep 1987 - Dec 1994

Creswell's Newark
& Notts Journal                           1772 - 1775

Mansfield & Ashfield
Recorder                                      7 Dec 1978 - to 2018

Mansfield & Ashfield
Reporter                                       16 Jan 1992 - Feb 1999

Mansfield & North Notts
Advertiser                                   13 May 1871 - 28 Mar 1952

Mansfield & Sutton
Observer                                       21 May 1969 - Dec 1998

Mansfield Chronicle                  11 Oct 1895 - 27 Mar 1952

Mansfield Chronicle
Advertiser/CHAD                        3 Apr 1952 - to 2018 (and DVD from 2002)


Mansfield Midweek Extra         16 Jan 1979 - 30 Oct 1979

Mansfield Reporter                     2 Jan 1858 - 5 Jan 1956

Meden & Dukeries
Advertiser                                      27 Sep 1978 – to 2018


Midland Gazette                           1 Jan 1846 - 1 Nov 1848;
                                                          3 Jan 1857 -24 Dec 1885

Shirebrook, Langwith…
Warsop Despatch                        7 Dec 1934 - 24 May 1935

Warsop & District Observer       12 Jan 1934 - 29 Mar 1934

There is an incomplete card index to these newspapers focussing on the  CHAD (i.e. Chronicle), Mansfield Advertiser and Mansfield Reporter.

N.B. Not all Nottinghamshire titles are currently included in the British Newspaper Archive, although there may be relevant articles in other titles accessible via 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.

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

Trade Directories

The trade directories, some county-wide, covering the period from around 1790, give contemporary information about Mansfield, including listings of local industries, and prominent people. The collection includes a set of Linney’s “Mansfield and North Nottinghamshire Illustrated Almanack and Directory”.  
There is also wide coverage of Nottinghamshire directories in microfiche format.


Ephemera files have been compiled over many years containing news cuttings, leaflets and uncatalogued information on various themes  including local industries, Mansfield Town  FC programmes etc. They are arranged by topic in filing cabinets.

The Photograph Collection

The photograph collection includes around 4000 mounted images, 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 25,000 Nottinghamshire images have been digitised and are available on the Inspire Picture Archive

Maps and Plans

Maps and plans covering the period from around 1790 to the early 21st century are stored in drawers and a map cabinet.
These include Ordnance Survey large scale 6-inch and 25-inch plans (plus metric equivalents) of the area from c.1880. Maps are available to browse.

If you have a specific query about mapping please contact us direct via AskInspire.


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

Parish Registers

Parish Registers on microfiche cover Mansfield (and surrounding parishes) from 1559 into the Twentieth Century (where they survive). Microfiche copies in the library have been well-used for many years, but from August 2022 the majority of records are available via Inspire's FREE subscription to Ancestry.co.uk. 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 Nottinghamshire Archives:

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