Discovering Local History at The Hive
Lots of people are fascinated by their local area and want to
know more. We are a great place to come and get started.
- Start with what you already know
- Explore the area and talk to local people. Is there a local
- Check out guides to local research and local history books. eg:
The Victoria County History of Worcestershire and early trade
directories, available at The Hive
- Visit The Hive
We have a vast collection of archives, over twelve miles of
shelving, covering 900 years of history. This is available for you
to see and help you discover the past for yourself. A lot of what
we have for each place can vary as it depends on what has survived
A summary of the most useful sources
- Local Studies Library – thousands of books are
held in our library, some dating back 200 years, covering the
county and subjects connected with the county. This includes
Worcestershire Archaeological Society transactions.
- Historic Environment Record database –
holds over 26,000 records on archaeological sites, historic
buildings and landscape covering the entire county. Excavation,
building and survey reports are available through our on-line
library. We also have a large aerial photograph collection,
historic maps and a comprehensive archaeological reference
- Trade Directories – you can find summaries of
towns and villages and some of the trades people who lived there.
These date from the late 18th century to mid 20th century.
- Maps – thousands of maps of the county
are available allowing you to plot how the landscape has changed.
We have Ordnance Survey maps from 1880s onwards, plus tithe and
enclosure maps, estate maps and many others.
- Census – we have the Worcestershire census
available on microfilm 1841-1901, as well as providing access free
of charge through the Ancestry website. All people in the county
should be listed here every ten years so you can discover who lived
in your community in the past.
- Photographs – 80,000 photos of the county are
in the Worcestershire Photographic Survey, plus thousands
more elsewhere in our collections.
- Electoral Registers – registers and poll books
date back to the mid 19th century listing all voters by
- Newspapers – we have microfilm copies of many
Worcestershire newspapers going back to 1712 on
- Tax – Land Tax and Hearth Tax returns are held
- Parish records – as well as Anglican church
registers of baptisms, marriages and burials we have administrative
records too, including old poor law documents. We have some records
for Non-Conformist churches.
Records – log books, punishment books and other
documents are available to give an insight into school life in the
- Deposits – thousands of records have been
deposited by hospitals, councils, estates, families, societies,
organisations, clubs, businesses and individuals.
- Wills – there are thousands of wills of
Worcestershire people here dating from the 15th century through to
- Quarter Sessions – we have documents from the
16th to 20th centuries, featuring criminal cases and the
administration of the county.
Where to go?
The Hive contains original archives such as school records, maps
and hospital records etc. To see original documents you will need
to bring ID such as a driving licence, utility bill or a CARN
ticket. Please be aware that some of the records in our care are
restricted by the Data Protection Act and may not be viewed for a
specified number of years. You can also
find the local studies library and a self service area containing
newspapers, parish registers, photos and wills on microfilm. Here
too is the Historic Environment Record (HER) offering
expert advice and information and a range of archaeological
resources. Outside of staffed hours the HER is available on-line
through Heritage Gateway. You can also access our online library for
archaeological reports and other digital resources.
How to Find Documents
Our catalogue lists most of our archives, this is available at
The Hive. Contact
This page was last reviewed 4 February 2014 at 16:04.
The page is next due for review 3 August 2015.