April is A-Z Blogging Challenge time here at the Society for One-Place Studies. Over the course of the month we’ll be exploring various topics corresponding to the relevant letter of the alphabet from a one-place study perspective. If you’re new to one-place studies you’ll learn more about them, and our tips will be handy for family historians and local historians too.
Archives can be great resources for research for your OPS. Set up to catalog the workings of a government or organization, archives are located at the national, state/province, and sometimes the city or town level. They contain information on land records, treaties and transactions; historical photos of the place you are studying; census records, and more. Now that much of this information has been placed online (finding aids at least) it makes it much easier to locate the information you seek. In the U.S. and Canada the archives are split by locations so be sure to look for the archives in your area of interest as well as the broad national one. Good luck!
In the UK, there is a wealth of information that is not online and can only be accessed in the archives. For One-Place Study purposes, the local archive will often be the first port of call. Most catalogues enable searching by place and you may find deeds and leases, land tax returns, maps and records relating to poor relief, to mention but a few of the treasures. Don’t neglect The National Archives, where you can find Tithe maps and schedules (also held locally), records of the 1910 Inland Revenue Valuation, the 1941 National Farm Survey and non-conformist registers. Search for your place on The National Archives Discovery Catalogue http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ – this will also bring up records held locally. Often information about your place can be found out of area, so cast your net wide.
Christine Sharbrough and Janet Few