English Local Studies Handbook: An Essential Guide to Sources of Information for Professional and Amateur Local Historians by Susanna Guy. University of Exeter Press, Reed Hall, Streatham Drive, Exeter EX4 4QR, England. Copyright 1992. £11.95

As the sub-title suggests for this book it is an essential guide for information. The book has pulled together from a large number of sources lots of names and addresses that we as family history researchers need to know. This is the type of book that you look in first to find where to go next.

The introduction lists the particulars for a number of national societies in the areas of local history, archaeology, history, family history and population studies.

The bulk of the book is divided up into county sections using the pre-1974 county structure for England. Each section has a pre- and post-1974 map showing how the many rural and urban districts within a county have been greatly reduced to a few districts within a new county. Listed for each county are A. local studies libraries and collections; B. local record offices; C. local history societies; D. local history journals; E. museums and local studies collections.

I tested the book by looking how it handled Westmorland, a county I am familiar with and one which disappeared in the 1974 restructuring. The names and addresses it supplies will certainly lead you to good collections of local history and point you in the right direction for where records are currently stored.

This is a good reference book to have as your research takes you into new geographical areas.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.2 no.1, 1995