Local History Library


The Local History library is situated in Grimsby Library and can be accessed via the lending library. It provides a wealth of information for researchers into the history of the area and for those who have a general interest in the past. As a recent visitor commented:

"The Local Studies Library is a fascinating place - I could spend hours in there!" Mr. B. Norfolk.

The opening hours are the same as for other Central Library departments. All items are for consultation only within the department and cannot be borrowed. It is possible to photocopy from most of them, subject to condition and copyright restrictions

The geographical areas covered are the historic County of Lincolnshire from the Humber to the Wash prior to 1974, and the Counties or Humberside and Lincolnshire and their component districts 1974 - 1996. Since 1996 the collection has focused on the area covered by the North East Lincolnshire Unitary Authority with a limited coverage outside this area South of the Humber.

Additional local studies materials are available at the North East Lincolnshire Archives Office, situated at the rear of the Town Hall.

The stock consists of:

  • Books
  • Pamphlets
  • Maps and plans
  • Newspapers on microfilm
  • Newspaper cuttings
  • Photographs


Civil War Pamphlets

You can view digitised images of rare and fragile pamphlets dating from the 1640's in the Grimsby Reference Library (The originals are preserved at North East Lincolnshire Archives). The pamphlets, which relate to the English Civil war, all have a local connection.


These documents are extremely rare and give a revealing insight into the political life of 17th Century Lincolnshire. One pamphlet highlights: "a discovery of the Arbitrary, Tyrannicall (sic), and illegal (sic) Actions of some of the Committee of the County of Lincoln." (1647) John Wilson, North East Lincolnshire Archivist said: "The pamphlets shed new light on this exciting time in the nation's history. Now they will be open for a much wider audience."
If you would like to see the digitised versions of the pamphlets please come to the Local History Library or for more information contact: 01472 323635.

Council Minutes

Cleethorpes 1974-1996
Grimsby 1904-1996
Humberside 1974-1996
North East Lincolnshire 1996-Date

Fishing Industry

A broad range of material covering the birth of the Grimsby fishing industry through to its status as the worlds leading fishing port and subsequent decline including photographs of Grimsby trawlers.


Enclosure Maps
Pre and post enclosure maps for most villages in the area. These are useful for showing the original boundaries of the settlements before Ordnance Survey maps to a constant scale in the 1880's.

Ordnance Survey
OS maps of Lincolnshire in various scales from 1 : 50,000 (1" to 1 mile) to 50" to a mile for built up areas from 1888 to the present day. We also keep a large range of historical maps from the pre-1888 era but these are not to a constant scale.

Street Plans - Historical and Modern
An extensive collection of street maps and plans which are useful for tracing the development of a particular area, and when used in conjunction with the Directories they can be used to trace the location of now demolished buildings.

Local Landmarks

A selection of Local Landmarks with a brief history about them is available to view from the local landmark section on this website.

Local Newspapers

An alphabetical card subject index giving the title of articles, date, page and column is available for most local newspapers for the latter part of the 19th century.
Since the 1960's cuttings are kept on a wide range of subjects classified by place and then subject.


The main local history periodicals are:-
Title Time Frame
Coast and Country 1979 - 1981 (incomplete)
East Coast Digest 1972 - 1977 (incomplete)
East Midlands Bibliography 1970 -
East Midlands Geographer 1970 -
Epworth Review 1976 - 1986
Grimsby Parish Gazette 1974 -
Humberside Church Magazine Oct 1964 -
Lincoln Railway Society Journal 1985 - 1986
Lincolnshire and Humberside Transport Review 1973 -
Lincolnshire Family Historian 1981 -
Lincolnshire Historian 1947 - 1965
Lincolnshire Life 1961 -
Lincolnshire Past and Present 1990 -
Lincolnshire Transport Review 1963 - 1973
Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society 1967 -
Lincolnshire Writers 1966 - 1974
Mercian Geologist 1964 -
Midland History 1971 -
North Midlands Bibliography 1963 - 1969
Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society 1898 - 2000
Transcriptions of the Lincs Naturalists Union 1905 - 1992

Photograph Collection

There are about 100,000 local historical photographs in the Local History Collection including approximately 17,000 images which make up the Hallgarth collection. Most of the photographs are black and white and provide an insight into how the Grimsby, Cleethorpes and the surrounding area looked over a century ago and in more recent times. There is also a comprehensive collection of Grimsby trawler photographs.

The Library provides a photographic reproduction service subject to condition and copyright. Please contact the Local History Library for more information. Telephone: 01472 323603 / 323635


Skelton Collection

A collection of all items printed by William Skelton of Grimsby between 1824 and 1861. The collection portrays the social history of the town during the middle years of the nineteenth century and includes:-

  • notices of elections
  • notices of regattas
  • temperance meetings
  • theatre bills
  • auctions


To be negotiated with the librarian before commencing, based on first half hour free of charge, then £25.00 per hour or part of an hour plus cost of photocopies @ 20p per sheet and postage.

For more information contact the Local History Library on  01472 323635/323603 or email derek.o'

Bookings for microfilm machines and the internet can be made by telephoning (01472) 323635


Downloadable Booklet


British Newspaper Archive