Oldgate Street, Morpeth, England

One-Place Study (OPS) is a perfect combination of family and local history of places around in the world.

Those places include towns, parishes, villages, hamlets, streets, or even individual buildings, with some studies focusing on burial grounds or memorials; the boundaries for a particular study are chosen by the person carrying it out.

One-place study research allows you to explore people and families in their physical and social contexts, using a range of sources including historical records and community stories, analysed alongside the local and national background. By learning about the community as a whole and studying the historical environment and events of a place, you can better understand the people – be they your ancestors or otherwise – who lived there.

There is no fixed, rigid way to carry out a One-Place Study – the beauty of it is that you have full freedom and flexibility to shape the Study to suit your methodology, Place, and information available.

This can, however, be a blessing and a curse – having full flexibility means you aren’t constrained by a format which isn’t appropriate for your Place, and yet sometimes that can feel like there is too much freedom and no structure for you to use to create your Study. The Society can offer some ideas to get you started, but it we don’t mean to provide a formal structure which you should feel you must follow.

The Society highly recommends the book Ten Steps to a One-Place Study by Janet Few as a great resource for further ideas and formats which might help you further structure your Study.

Some One-Place Studiers may want to do an In-Depth Report on their Study Place – some information about this can be found in the Members’ Area.

Who does an OPS?

Anyone with an interest in family and local history would enjoy working on a One-Place Study! Often, people start with a fascination for one or the other, which is able to be combined when they start a One-Place Study.

A One-Place Study can be carried out by an individual family or local historian, a history group or society, or even a community archive or library.

You do not have to live in, nor have any family connection to the Place you choose to research – you may never have even visited there!

A One-Place Study is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the people who lived in your Place, and to share their lives with the world.

The main shared characteristic of all One-Place Studiers is simply a passion for history!

The Society for One-Place Studies is a leading organisation dedicated to supporting One-Placers worldwide. 

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Contact Us

By email:

By post:
Society for One-Place Studies,
28 St Ronan’s Avenue,
Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 0QE
United Kingdom

© The Society for One-Place Studies