Reference, Local and Family History

Inside of Stockton Library with someone reading a book

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The Borough’s largest collection of reference material is located within Stockton Reference Library.

Online Reference and Research

Access to Research

Free access to over 30 million academic articles for small businesses, researchers and students including in-depth information on topics including art and architecture, business, history and the sciences. (Access is available from within all Stockton Borough Libraries with your library card).

British Newspaper Archive 

Discover history as it happened.  Access over 200 years of history with archive newspapers from all over Britain and Ireland.  The British Newspaper Archive is available to access within our libraries.  Once on the website register for free to save your searches and articles.

Oxford English Dictionary 

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.  Accessible with your Stockton Borough Libraries card.

Oxford Dictionaries Premium

Oxford Dictionaries Premium is the home of Oxford’s premium language resources for English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  Access for free with your library card.

Oxford Bibliographies

Developed cooperatively with scholars and librarians worldwide, Oxford Bibliographies offers exclusive, authoritative research guides across a variety of subject areas. Combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia, this cutting-edge resource directs researchers to the best available scholarship across a wide variety of subjects.  Access for free with your library card.

Very Short Introductions

Over 600 titles are available online with your library card. Very Short Introductions are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Expert authors combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make often challenging topics highly readable.


Family History Research

Interested in researching your family history? With a basic knowledge of computers you could start with a one-to-one taster session to build your confidence in using family history websites, including Ancestry (available in all of our libraries) and Findmypast (available in Stockton Reference Library only).

You may prefer to book a place on one of our 'Introduction to Family History' courses and learn along with a small group of other beginners. This is a two part course that covers paper records as well as the internet.

We have experienced staff who can carry out family history searches on your behalf. There is a small charge for this service - £12.50 per half hour or part of, including VAT.

Stockton Family History Group is a mutual support group for those interested in family history or if you have Scottish ancestry come along to the Scottish Family History Group. Both groups are informal and meet monthly. For further details contact Stockton Reference Library on 01642 528079 or email reference.l[email protected].


Virtual Local and Family History Group

An online taster of what’s on offer from our local and family history resources.

Staff from the Reference Library in Stockton will be on hand to tackle your queries and you can share your family history experience generally. Everyone is welcome from beginners to old pros. We also post a regular selection of archive photos to spark some memories of the area and to encourage you to share your recollections.

Some fantastic recordings of local history talks are also available which open up the rich history and heritage of our area.

For more information on the Local and Family History Group visit their Facebook Page.


Picture Stockton and Heritage Stockton

Picture Stockton is a pictorial record of our area and its history. The site contains the photographic collections of the Library Service and the Museum Service and also the generous donations of photographs from those who visit the site.

We encourage visitors to add their comments, memories and stories to the images on the site and we welcome contributions of suitable images and photographs.

Heritage Stockton is home to our digital archive and our research projects about the people, places and buildings of the area. Our digital collections include archive theatre programmes, school magazines and our World War One commemoration. The site also hosts our Heritage Lottery project including the Head Wrightson Photo Archive.


Digital War Memorial  

The Digital War Memorial was a project led by the Society of Chief Librarians. It brought together a wide range of communities to work with high quality artists to create their own unique creative response to the First World War Centenary in 2014.

Using the rich resources of local libraries and archives as the starting point, the new artworks tell diverse stories of how the First World War touched people’s lives and how it is remembered today.

Visit The Digital War Memorial website to see Stockton Borough Libraries contribution 'Lest We Forget'.