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Local and Family History
at Bedford Central Library

Local and Family History A - Z > By Library
  • Ancestry Library Edition
    Free access in the library to 'Ancestry Library Edition', a web site that has a huge range of resources for family historians. For details, see the top of Local and family history A-Z page
  • Alumni
    Alumni Cantabrigienses: a biographical list of all students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge from the earliest times to 1900. 10 Volumes.
    Alumni Oxonienses: the members of the University of Oxford 1715-1886, their parentage, birthplace and year of birth, with a record of their degrees. 4 Volumes
  • Armed services
    For details, see Armed services records at Bedford Central Library
  • Atlas and Index of Parish Registers
  • Bedfordshire Heritage Library
    This is a special area in Bedford Central Library housing items from the local history collection that are rare, valuable or delicate and are of particular historical significance. For more information, see the Bedfordshire Heritage Library page.
  • Births indexes
    1837-2004 for England and Wales
    Oversees births index (various dates from 1761-1994)
  • Burial and cemetery records
    Kempston 1878-1964, Turvey 1872 - 1956, Wootton 1922-1934
    National Burial Index on CD-ROM
  • Census indexes
    1881 British Census National Index on CD-ROM
  • Census records
    Free access to census records 1841- 1911 on 'Ancestry Library Edition' web site.
    1841-1901 Bedfordshire census on microfilm and microfiche. 
    1881 British Census transcribed records on CD-ROM, accompanying the 1881 National Index on CD-ROM
  • Census statistics
    Summary statistics of Bedfordshire from 1841 to date. Small area statistics for North and Mid Bedfordshire 1981 and 1991 and for Bedfordshire 1971 (incomplete)
  • Council papers
    County, district, town and parish papers held in back files of varying lengths
  • County guides and directories
    Bedfordshire 1785-1940 (incomplete)
  • Deaths indexes
    1837-2004 for England and Wales
    Oversees deaths index (various dates from 1761-1994)
  • Electoral registers
    Electoral registers from mid 19th century to date (incomplete) 
  • Ephemera
    Arranged by subject
  • Gentleman's Magazine
  • Indexes and catalogues
    Finding aids to library collections
  • International Genealogical Index
    The 1988 and 1992 editions of the I.G.I., on microfiche for England, Scotland and Wales
  • Magazines and journals and parish magazines
    Wide range of local magazines including:
    Bedfordshire Magazine 1947-1999
    Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Publications 1912 to date
    Local parish magazines, some with long back-files
    See the full list at Local newspapers, magazines and journals
    at Bedford Central Library

  • Maps
    Historical and current maps of Bedfordshire of varying dates and scales. For details, open this Excel file (69 KB) Local historical maps at Bedford Central Library. Also town centre maps showing individual buildings and their uses 1970s to present.
  • Marriages indexes
    1837-2004 for England and Wales
    Oversees marriages index (various dates from 1761-1994)
  • Newspapers
    See Local newspapers at Bedford Central Library
    British Newspaper Archive
    Times Digital Archive
  • Historical newspapers and magazine supplements (Excel spreadsheet, 68KB).

  • Newspaper cuttings files
    From 20th century onwards, with detailed indexes. To see the full list of the subjects covered, open this Word file (187 kb) Newspaper cuttings index, Bedford Central Library
  • Newspaper Index
    Index to significant articles in Bedfordshire newspapers from 1980 to date. Some earlier 20th century articles are included
  • Obituaries 
    Obituaries from the Times 1951-60, 1961-1970, 1971-1975
  • Obituaries index
    Obituaries from Bedfordshire newspapers and magazines from the 19th century to the early 21st century (Excel file, 494 KB). (consult the card index to see full details of where you will find the obituary)
  • Parish registers
    Complete set of Bedfordshire transcribed parish registers from 1500s to 1812 (dates vary for different events and places), in book format
    Surname index to complete set of Bedfordshire Parish Registers, on CD-ROM
  • Poll books
    Poll books of Bedfordshire from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Photographs, postcards and prints
    Covering Bedfordshire from the 19th century onwards
  • Special collections
    John Bunyan and Mark Rutherford collections are housed in the Bedfordshire Heritage Library, an area of Bedford Central Library
  • Subject files
    Articles, pamphlets, cuttings and topic files (Word file, 406KB)
  • Telephone directories
    Bedfordshire telephone directories 1967 to date (incomplete)
    Bedfordshire Yellow Pages 1925, 1966 to date (incomplete)
    For details see Telephone directories at Bedford Central Library (PDF 259kb)
    Telephone directories between 1880 and 1984 are also available on Ancestry which is accessible via the public computers in all libraries.
  • Town guides and directories
    Bedford 1890-1975 (incomplete)
    Luton 1950-1975 (incomplete)
  • Victoria County Histories
    Complete set of the Victoria County Histories for England as published to date 
  • Visitations
    Local and for selected counties.
  • Vital records
    'Vital records index British Isles' is a CD-ROM which covers selected records of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland between 1538 and 1888. Not all counties are represented and some are more completely represented than others.  Also available 'Vital records North America and Canada' and 'Vital records Australia'

Bedford Central Library contact details and opening times

Page last updated: 6th February 2020