Local History Online in England and Wales
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Local history and record societies which have made past publications freely available online
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Notes
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Contenttwo main types of content: record series (book-length primary source editions, calendars, etc) and society journals (containing, generally, a variety of shorter pieces which may be secondary literature or primary source focused). I'm not including society newsletters which usually only report recent news and activities, but these are often available, and societies may also have other kinds of useful digital/digitised resources - articles, reports, databases, indexes to print volumes, etc.
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Findingoften this is via simple lists or indexes; a few websites provide more sophisticated search facilities. If you're lucky journals may be indexed at article level, but often are just lists of volumes. Similarly, sometimes you may be able to download individual journal articles, but quite often they're only available as complete volumes.
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Accessin some cases, availability is on a rolling basis, with the most recent volumes restricted to society members; in other cases there seems to have been a one-off digitisation programme and it is unknown whether more recent publications will be made available in the future. Mostly the content is in PDF format but in a few cases it's HTML (which can still be printed but won't have original page numbers etc)
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Sections
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society websitesaccess via a society website (primarily county societies but also some smaller administrative units); mostly hosted at the website but some give links to material hosted at the IA, Google books or elsewhere. For the latter, quality can be highly variable.
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welsh journals onlineselective list of material available via Welsh Journals Online; includes only (primarily) English language periodicals and those including content published since 1950. There are many more older publications! You can usually download article PDFs (download icon bottom right of screen); sometimes this may not be available and only option is to download individual pages.
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internet archiveselective list of material available via the Internet Archive, primarily intended to give some examples of what's available, mostly pre-1923. Most have not been uploaded by the society that published them. IA metadata is highly variable, so search strategies need to be quite flexible (and you may need to wade through a lot of stuff from American societies for places named after English counties).
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Further resources
(lists may not be very up to date)
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RHS list of English societies
https://royalhistsoc.org/publications/national-regional-history/english-regional-history-and-record-societies/
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RHS list of Welsh societies
https://royalhistsoc.org/publications/national-regional-history/welsh-regional-and-national-history-and-record-societies/
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GENUKI list of societies (mainly family history)
https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Societies
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BALH list of local history societies has many very local societies which might have further material
https://www.balh.org.uk/
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localhistoryonline
http://www.local-history.co.uk/Groups/
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British History Online
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/catalogue
I've noted some BHO-hosted material, but there will almost certainly be much more than this
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Welsh Journals Onlinehttps://journals.library.wales/
As with BHO, there is considerably more than is noted here
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Abbreviations
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ADSArchaeology Data Service
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BHOBritish History Online
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IAInternet Archive
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WJOWelsh Journals Online
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County societies - no (open) online content found (July 2019)
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NB: even if they don't have free content, prices for digitised publications are often very low.
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A number of the societies mention that they are considering digitisation - if they can fund it...
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I've done various searches ('record society', 'historical society', 'antiquarian society', etc) but not completely systematically and may well have missed something!
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Bedfordshire Historical Record Society
https://www.bedfordshirehrs.org.uk/content/publications/where-to-find-bhrs-volumes/obtaining-bhrs-volumes
notes that some vols are on the IA but no direct links (see IA tab)
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Caernarvonshire Historical Society
no sign of any current website
(based at Gwynedd Archives, which itself has a fairly sketchy web presence)
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Cambridgeshire Record Society
http://www.cambsrecordsociety.co.uk/publications/
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Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society
http://www.carmants.org.uk/publications.html
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Denbighshire Historical Society
http://www.denbighshirehistoricalsociety.cymru/
website seems to be a work in progress...?
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Derbyshire Record Society
http://www.derbyshirerecordsociety.org/
but see Derbyshire Archaeological Society
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Dorset Record Society
http://www.palmyra.me.uk/DNHAS/drs.html
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Hertfordshire Record Society
http://www.hrsociety.org.uk/publication_index.html
but see St Albans and Herts Architectural and Archaeological Society
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Huntingdonshire Local History Society
http://www.huntslhs.org.uk/?page_id=49
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Lincoln Record Society
http://www.lincoln-record-society.org.uk/
(some material on BHO)
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Merioneth Historical and Record Society
http://www.hanes-meirionnydd.cymru/en/the-journal/
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Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association
http://www.monmouthshireantiquarianassociation.org/publications-3/
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Norfolk Record Society
https://www.norfolkrecordsociety.org.uk/publications/
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Thoroton Society (Nottinghamshire)
http://www.thorotonsociety.org.uk/publications.htm
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Oxfordshire Record Society
http://www.oxfordshire-record-society.org.uk/
but see Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society
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Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society
https://shropshirearchaeologyhistory.org/publications/transactions-2/
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Somerset Record Society
http://www.westcountrygenealogy.com/somerset/somrecsoc.htm
but see Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society
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South Wales Record Society
http://www.southwalesrecordsociety.co.uk/Publications.htm
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Staffordshire Record Society
http://www.s-h-c.org.uk/?page_id=2
(some material on BHO)
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Suffolk Records Society
https://suffolkrecordssociety.com/
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Surrey Record Society
https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/culture-and-leisure/history-centre/record-society/publications
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Dugdale Society (Warwickshire)
http://www.dugdale-society.org.uk/Main.html
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Warwickshire Local History Society
http://www.warwickshirehistory.org.uk/publications.php
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Worcestershire Historical Society
https://www.worcestershirehistoricalsociety.co.uk/
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